Bridge closed this week in Escanaba

WELLS — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is planning to completely close the U.S. 2 and 41 bridge over the Escanaba River from 9 p.m. Eastern time today to 6 a.m. Friday. The closure will allow for bridge beam placement work on the E&LS Railroad bridge.

This week’s closure is part of a multimillion-dollar MDOT project that will eventually replace the Escanaba River bridge and the E&LS Railroad bridge. The project began in April and is expected to continue through the fall of 2018.

Initially, this closure had been planned for August. However, it was pushed back after some components needed for the bridge beam placement work were not delivered on time.

In a press release issued by MDOT, it was stated that nighttime work will take place throughout the closure period. This work, which may result in bright lights and noise, will allow for closure time to be minimized.

During the closure period, eastbound traffic will be detoured from U.S. 2 via County Roads 426, 420, and 531 and onto M-35 before returning to U.S. 2. This route will be reversed for westbound traffic. As some segments of County Road 426 are closed to oversized loads, drivers carrying these loads are encouraged to call the Delta County Road Commission at (906) 786-3200 Monday through Thursday to find an alternate route.

When it is completed, the new Escanaba River bridge will be 40 feet wider than the old bridge. It will have 12-foot-wide lanes and 10-foot-wide shoulders on both sides, along with a non-motorized pathway on one side. The project will also fix issues related to the curve and horizontal alignment of the old Escanaba River bridge.

According to MDOT Communications Representative for the Superior Region Dan Weingarten, two more bridge closures are expected to take place this fall. The dates for these closures have not yet been set.

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