Motorists can expect slight delays when crossing the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.
The Michigan Department of Transportation is conducting routine detailed inspections of the bridge that began Monday and will continue throughout the next couple of weeks.
“The purpose of this inspection is to perform a systematic review of the mechanical, electrical, and structural components of the bridge to make sure that everything is operating properly and to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of the bridge,” said Jeff Barsch of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Along with occasional lifting of the span, which will stop traffic in both directions, drivers can also expect intermittent lane closures.
Barsch said, “We perform an inspection like this every 5 to 7 years, and then we use the information we find during this inspection to begin to plan our future projects for the bridge.”
Mariners in tall vessels wishing to pass under the bridge will also experience delays through this Friday as there will be periods when the lift deck will be inoperable. Current bulletins will be broadcast on marine radio in the local vicinity.
Barsch said, “People will notice that the bridge is going to be opening and closing a little more frequently than it typically does this time of year. But the duration of the lifts will be no longer than a standard marine lift.”
According to MDOT, inspections will conclude by June 2nd.
Barsch said, “Please stay alert as you come near the bridge as everything will be changing from day to day as the workers perform the work. Please be cautious and courteous of the workers as they perform the work on the bridge.”