Portage Lake Lift Bridge work next week to require intermittent closures

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The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) said late last week that the Portage Lake Lift Bridge will be intermittently closed during maintenance Jan. 25-29. Motorists should expect delays while the contractor tests new bridge components.

The contractor will conduct a series of lifts of the bridge span, which will require full closure of the bridge during the testing. Snowmobiles will not be allowed on the lower deck during the tests. Delays of up to 15 minutes between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and up to 30 minutes between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. should be anticipated on these days.

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Houghton and Hancock. U.S. Highway 41 and M-26 are routed across the bridge. The center portion of the bridge lifts to allow ship traffic to pass under the bridge. The lower deck of the bridge is no longer needed for rail traffic, so during summer months, it is left partially raised to allow boat traffic to pass under the bridge. In winter, the lower deck is moved to the lowest position to allow snowmobilers to use the bridge.

The $8.4 million project to upgrade and perform preventive maintenance began in December 2014 and is scheduled for completion in April.


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Michigan Department of Transportation

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