The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Potholes cripple US 2 in Bessemer

 

March 21, 2019

Bryan Hellios/Daily Globe

Pylons block two lanes of traffic along U.S. 2 in Bessemer Wednesday as it is prepared for extensive repairs to potholes.

By BRYAN HELLIOS

bhellios@yourdailyglobe.com

Bessemer - U.S. 2 through Bessemer is down to just two lanes as major repairs are scheduled to tackle a rash of potholes.

Dan Weingarten, communications representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said this year has been hard on roads due to a lot of freeze-thaw cycles.

"This has been a really bad spring for potholes all across the Upper Peninsula, but that is one of the worst spots right now," he said.

When moisture under the road freezes it causes the pavement to buckles up which creates cracks, he said. Those cracks turn into holes from the weight of vehicles driving over them, he added.

Filling potholes is not a long term solution, it's more of a "bandaid" until the road can be properly repaired, he said.

"That area is scheduled for reconstruction along with utility work in 2021," he said.

Barry Bolich, manager of the Gogebic County Road Commission, said, the road is failing due to its age and the hard winter.

Road crews will be in charge of the "difficult" task of maintaining the highway until the scheduled replacement occurs, he said.

This is not a good time to repair blacktop because of all the moisture, he added.

Traffic is down to the two center lanes - one in each direction.

"We were fighting a losing battle so we took the strategy of closing the outside two lanes so we could concentrate on the center two lanes," he said.

Bolich said the state DOT instructed them to hire a contractor with a "more high tech solution" to repair the potholes.

The road commission reached an agreement with Angelo Luppino Construction on Wednesday to make the repairs, he said.

"Luppino will be here next week with more sophisticated equipment and product then we currently have," he added.

The cost to repair the road will be "north of $100,000," he said.

"The road has lived its full life and we've had a tough winter," Bolich said. "We are doing everything we can."

Dave Osier, owner of Floor Plans on U.S. 2 in Bessemer, said when people don't slow down for the "bigger bumps" they hit they them pretty hard.

"There were times we saw empty trailers actually get airborne," he said.

The deteriorating road mixed with dirt and dust gets kicked up by passing cars and sprayed onto the windows.

"Those big trucks would shoot rocks at you when your washing the windows," he said. "It was dangerous."

Since this is a slow time of year for the flooring business, he does not know if the conditions of the road has impacted his sales, but he said it "didn't help."

"People are too busy dodging holes to even see what stores are even here," Osier said.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019