Cut River Bridge closed on US-2
MACKINAC COUNTY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) -- The Cut River Bridge on US-2 is now closed for a repair project.
It gets inspected every year and last year, the Michigan Department of Transportation noticed its steel structured need to be repaired.
US-2 is one of the first roads many people take after the Mackinac Bridge on the way through the Upper Peninsula to some of Michigan's most popular tourist destinations.
The Heath M. Robinson Memorial Cut River Bridge is one of the largest bridges on the route.
“As everybody knows, summer tourism season unfortunately coincides with summer construction season," said James Lake, a spokesperson for MDOT. "There’s no good way around it. We just do our best to minimize the effect on traffic as much as possible.”
It's just a short detour to get around the bridge, but it is still causing some minor backups.
Last year during an annual bridge inspection, MDOT decided the bridge needed work on its steel structure and arches.
“The bridge was built in 1947, so it’s quite old now and periodically to keep the bridge in good condition, keep it safe and sound for many years to come, we need to do some major work," Lake said. "Back in 2008, 2009 we replaced the concrete deck on the bridge and this structural steel work that we’re doing is complimenting that and also giving us more years for the bridge.”
The $1.3 million project will be funded by the state and federal government.
MDOT wanted to stress that there was no immediate danger on the bridge, but it did need work to extend the bridge's life.
“We do our best to keep all of our bridges in good condition," Lake said. "The more work that we can put into them in maintaining them is money that we save in replacing them if they reach to bad of condition.
There is a detour that takes drivers just over a mile out of the way on Cut River Road, but MDOT is asking larger commercial trucks to avoid it if possible."
“We’re encouraging commercial trucks, the bigger vehicles to use maybe I-75, 123, M-28 and M-117 to get around this," Lake said.
MDOT says the Cut River Bridge does have some parts that were similar to those on the I-35 W bridge that collapsed about 10 years ago in Minneapolis, however that is not the reason for any of this construction.
MDOT expects this project to go into November.