HOUGHTON, MI – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will close the US-41/M-26 Portage Lake Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock for 11.5 hours beginning at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 21st, 2015. The bridge is scheduled to reopen at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, March 22nd, 2015.
In case of a weather delay, an alternate date of March 28th, 2015 has been set. The closure is required to reconnect lift cables to the bridge’s lift span – the next phase of the $8.4 million maintenance project that began this winter.
In addition, motorists should expect:
– Four two-hour closures on March 17-20, between 2 and 4 a.m. each morning.
– Intermittent 15- to 20-minute closures will continue during March, all scheduled between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
– Four additional two-hour closures in March from 2 to 4 a.m., on dates to be determined.
Emergency vehicles will be able to cross the bridge during all closures.
Except for the March 21st, 2015 closure, snowmobile traffic will be maintained throughout the project.
Waiting rooms on each side of the Portage Canal have been arranged for motorists without an alternate place to stay during the all-night bridge closure March 21. The Magnuson Hotel Franklin Square Inn at 820 Shelden Ave. in Houghton and Lakeview Manor at 1401 West Quincy St. in Hancock have agreed to provide warm spots for motorists to sit and wait for the bridge to reopen.
For more information during all-night bridge closures, motorists can tune to AM 1610 radio in the Houghton and Hancock area or follow @MDOT_UP on Twitter.
During the ongoing project, MDOT will perform upgrades and preventive maintenance work on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge through mid-April 2016. The project includes lift cable replacement, balance chain maintenance, electrical and mechanical upgrades, security system improvements, spot painting, and new barrier gates.