A 12-night shut down of a major bridge just started in Charlevoix.
The US 31 bridge will be closed every night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. until April 8.
It’s part of a nearly $2 million repair project.
Drivers who usually cross the Bascule Bridge in Charlevoix must now take a 67 mile detour.
The temporary route goes through East Jordan, Boyne Falls, and Petoskey.
9&10’s Whitney Amann was at the bridge as crews shut down both sides of US 31 and started their first night of work.
They will be out here until 5 a.m., when they allow traffic back over the bridge.
“They gotta keep that bridge going.”
The US 31 bridge will be closed for the next 12 nights.
Drivers have to make sure they get where they need to before 11 p.m.
“Well anyone over the bridge out for a night past 11 o clock will have to, won’t be able to get back over the bridge so and anyone who has to work you know nights or odd hours will definitely be affected,” says driver Jonathan Szuch.
Construction projects can cause longer drives and slow down businesses.
This closure was scheduled to have the smallest impact.
“We expect it to be a fairly quiet week with spring break going on so with the bridge closure we’ll probably be a little bit quieter,” says Townhouse Bar owner, Kirk Ikens.
Townhouse Bar in downtown Charlevoix will still be affected by the closure.
“Obviously a majority of our business and revenue is generated in the evening and night time,” says Ikens.
Kirk Ikens will be working extra hours so his employees can get home.
“I happen to live on the south side of the town,” adds Ikens. “I have several of my employees that do live on the north side so I’ll come back in the evenings around 10:30, 10:45 make sure they can get back across the bridge, be able to put their heads back on their own pillows and be able to get a good night’s sleep.”
Bridge operators are hopeful the closures go smoothly.
“I just hope what we do and how it works out it doesn’t inconvenience people too much and that we get through our closure and have a good summer,” says bridge operator, Kent Seymour.
Most businesses and drivers say they have had enough time to prepare and they are happy it’s happening now before the busy summer season.
Again, these closures are scheduled to be completed by April 8, just in time for the busy summer season.
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