Rising water levels force bridge on M-28 to close
At 3:30, the water was still rising according to Ontonagon County Road Commission officials, but the water was not over the road.
Truck traffic was being detoured on M-64, M-38 and U.S. 45. Lighter traffic was rerouted to a bridge just south of M-28, adding a 3.5 mile detour, according to Jerry Mattson of the OCRC. Mattson, one of many OCRC workers working at high-water locations around the county, was directing traffic at the M-28 bridge Monday afternoon.
An MDOT official said the river was 7.5 feet above flood levels at 12:20 p.m. Monday and was expected to rise. MDOT was unsure how long the closure would last.
The Ewen-Trout Creek School District let out school early at 1:30 to get kids home before the closure.
At 3:30, the water was higher than bottom of the bridge, about 2.5 feet up the 5-foot beam that runs the 325-foot length of the three-span concrete bridge.
“That’s a lot of pressure flow against the bridge,” said MDOT’s bridge engineer for the region, Pete Wessel, who was on site Monday afternoon.
Also on site was a crew from the U.S. Geological Survey measuring water flow.
While the water rises at the M-28 bridge each spring, the water hasn’t been over the road since 2002.
Elsewhere in Ontonagon County, Norwich Road is closed between Chamberlain and Goldberg roads due to a washout. Larson and Airport roads have water over some portions, and there are many other back roads and driveways underwater.