Intermittent closure of westbound bridge planned

Freighter Erie Loader upbound at Blue Water Bridge May 2017 ( photo by Dave Dentinger)

Intermittent closures of the westbound span of the Blue Water Bridge are planned late Friday night into Saturday.

Michigan Department of Transportation Spokesperson Jocelyn Hall said starting at 11 p.m. on September 21, the westbound bridge will be shut down for four periods of up to one hour each while anchor links are replaced.

“This project involves boring custom fit holes that will hold the pins that will tie the anchor link and the truss and the columns all together on that steel structure,” said Hall. “The work that is being done with the boring machine requires that there’s no vibrations that are caused by traffic, so that’s why we require a full closure of this span to allow this work to be completed.”

Hall said the plan is to complete the work overnight to reduce the impact on motorists, but significant delays are expected.

“We did identify Friday after 11 p.m. as an ideal time frame based on traffic count historically, but certainly for anybody that was expecting to be able to make a path over the bridge in a timely fashion at that point, they may want to take an alternate route,” she said. “They may want to try and adjust the time that they’re planning on travelling westbound if they’re able to.”

Hall said traffic will be held while the line boring is completed, and will be allowed to cross in between the closures to reduce congestion.

The work is part of an overall $3.6 million investment in steel structural repairs to the westbound span.

-with files from Melanie Irwin