Skip to main content

Weather delays, additional repairs extend detour for US-31 bascule bridge in Manistee

GAYLORD, Mich. - The US-31 bascule bridge over the Manistee River in Manistee will remain closed through late November due to additional needed repairs and weather delays.

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) engineers now expect the bridge will be reopened to vehicle traffic by Nov. 30, in time for Manistee’s Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend. The detour will be back in place starting Dec. 4 for the scheduled winter construction.

The bridge has been closed to vehicle traffic since July 10 to allow for repairs, with traffic to remain detoured on city streets until Sept. 15. Additional structural steel and historical concrete repairs identified during work required extending the detour through early November initially, but more steel repairs and weather delays now require a longer closure.

Before the bridge is reopened later this month, crews plan to install new concrete bridge approach slabs and sidewalks, build rail posts, install historical railing and tube railing, and place new pavement markings. When work resumes in December, crews will complete additional structural steel repairs and painting, replace electrical equipment, replace the bridge’s track and tread components, and test and balance the bridge for reliable operation.

"We appreciate the community's patience during this work and the extended detours," said Melzar Coulter, assistant construction engineer for MDOT's Traverse City Transportation Service Center (TSC). "We and our contractor partners are working as quickly as possible to complete these needed repairs."

MDOT is investing $12.6 million to make repairs and upgrades to the bridge, first opened in 1933. The project includes replacing portions of the bridge deck, upgrading the bridge’s mechanical and electrical systems, full painting of the bridge’s structural steel, and improvements to the bridge approaches.

The bridge currently remains open to marine traffic; it will be closed to marine traffic from Dec. 1, 2023, to April 1, 2024.

Northbound US-31 traffic is detoured on 1st Street, Maple Street, and Memorial Drive; southbound US-31 is detoured on Monroe Street, Maple Street, and 1st Street. Truck traffic is detoured on M-55 and Stronach Road.

Based on economic modeling, this investment is expected to directly and indirectly support 152 jobs. This work will improve the driving surface of the bridge, improve reliability of the bridge’s operation, and extend the life of the structure.

Media Contact: