ESCANABA, Mich., -- Eastbound and westbound US-2/US-41/M-35 is scheduled to be closed at the Escanaba River Nov. 28 for work on the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) bridge project.
The closure is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28, and end at approximately 9 p.m. the same day. This closure is required to pour concrete for the new westbound highway bridge span. This work is weather dependent; Nov. 29 has been set as the alternate date.
This part of the Escanaba river is classified as a navigable waterway at the US-2 bridge. Small craft occasionally may venture that far upstream, even though it is just below a hydroelectric dam. MDOT states the center of the channel will remain open at the bridge.
"The U.S. Coast Guard asked us," Communications Representative for MDOT Superior Region Dan Weingarten says, "to place lighted plastic drums to delineate construction causeways which were built out into the river for the project this summer. One of those causeways, with lighted drums, will be left in place for the winter."
During the closure, eastbound traffic will be detoured via Delta County roads 426, 420, and 531, and M-35. The detour will be reversed for westbound traffic. Motorists should be patient and expect delays.
To accommodate traffic and reduce conflicts along the detour route, Delta County Road 420 will be closed to through-traffic at the east leg of the intersection with Delta County Road 531. Also, Rivers 22nd Road will be open to eastbound traffic only between Delta County Road 531 and M-35. Law enforcement will be present at intersections along the detour route to improve traffic flow and reduce backups.
Parts of County Road 426 are closed to oversized loads. Drivers with oversized loads should contact the Delta County Road Commission at 906-786-3200 Monday through Thursday to determine the most appropriate route.
MDOT is investing $20.5 million to replace both the US-2 bridge over the Escanaba River and the Escanaba and Lake Superior (E&LS) Railroad bridge over US-2. This two-year project will also include reconstructing and realigning 0.8 miles of roadway and replacing 3,000 feet of E&LS Railroad track.
The closure has been scheduled to allow continuous placement of concrete from the existing bridge deck, which will save approximately four days of construction time. The original schedule had concrete being placed on two separate days, with cure time in between. The contractor is working to switch traffic onto the new span in early December.
Project map: https://goo.gl/vsPcST