Emergency Crews Prepared for M-55 Manistee River Bridge Detour Starting Next Week

For nearly a year, traffic on M-55 towards Manistee will be detoured along Stronach Road and around the south end of Manistee Lake.

Bonnie Dutkavich who live on the east side of the lake, says, “It’ll impact me because instead of going two and a half miles to work, I’ll have to go all the way around to through Stronach and through Manistee and it’ll be about almost 15 miles for me to go to work.”

The project will replace the deteriorating M-55 bridge in Manistee built in 1931.M 55 Detour Map

“The bridge has been there for almost 100 years so it’s about time they redid it because they are redoing all of the infrastructures and they’re fixing the bridges,” says Dutkavich. “Is it going to be better, I would hope so, I would hope it’s going to be a lot better than what it is.”

With the sheriff’s office and hospital on the north end of Manistee, Lt. Jason Torrey says the detour could hurt response times for emergency crews.

“It could cause drastic increases in time for anybody responding depending on where they’re at and where they’re heading to the call,” says Lt. Torrey.

To combat that, Lt.Torrey says they’re working closely with other departments:

“Getting into mutual aid agreements and trying to do the best we can to cover each other’s backs when needed and make sure that delay in time from the normal is brought up through our cooperation with each other.”

The Michigan Department of Transportation says they’ll also be working with emergency crews to help reduce the impact on response times.

James Lake, MDOT North Region Communications Representative, says, “We definitely understand the concerns that emergency responders have regarding the effects our road construction projects and detours have on their response times. As with all of our projects, we will work with them to ensure they can maintain their ability to respond as quickly as possible to emergency situations.”

The detour is expected to start next week and go until the fall of 2021.

Lt. Torrey says, “We’re all working together and trying to make sure that nobody sees a drastic increase or hopefully not an increase in services and we’re doing our best to plan for it and take action.”