GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Transportation says it is working with a contractor to address issues with the Grand Haven drawbridge properly closing as work wraps up on the span.
In a statement posted on the Spring Lake Village Facebook page, MDOT spokesperson Vicki Weerstra says workers are finishing up a repairing the bridge’s electrical and operational components, which began in December. However, she said maintaining operation of the bridge “has proved challenging.”
MDOT says at least two times in the past week, the Grand Haven bascule bridge has failed to open.
Authorities said traffic backups caused by the malfunctioning bridge also played a role in a three-vehicle crash on April 19. Two people were hurt in the chain reaction crash, but authorities say their injuries were not life-threatening.
Weerstra says MDOT worked “late into the night” with the contractors to address the bridge seating problems. She said operators have been trained to recognize the mechanical errors that may happen and the proper sequence of steps to take to reopen the gates.
Weerstra said MDOT and the contractor will test software upgrades at night next week to streamline the process. She said once the project is complete, they will test all of the drawbridge’s components to ensure no problems pop up, and provide “further in-depth training” for all operators.
“I know this is frustrating, but we are working as hard and fast as we can to have this inconvenience minimized and ultimately eliminated. We fully understand the many concerns of the communities impacted when this occurs and will continue to work to correct this critical issue,” Weerstra stated in the post.