By Tim Kowols
The timing of the notice and the closure of the Michigan Street Bridge on December 4 is frustrating to Sturgeon Bay’s downtown businesses. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced the weeklong closure earlier this week to heat straighten seven of the bridge’s beams and replace another due to damage sustained from two separate incidents involving trucks from B&B Metals Processing in Newton, Wis. as they hauled scrap metal from the shipyard. Mark Kantola from the DOT says they usually give seven days of notice before projects and picked next week to do the work to avoid the tourist season and cold temperatures. Heading into the final weeks before Christmas, Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center Executive Director Pam Seiler hopes people are not deterred by the closure.
B&B Metals Processing was cited for operating a vehicle without a permit for excess height on May 31, but there is no report for the incident on June 29. In the incident report, the owner of B&B Metals Processing told Sturgeon Bay Police he has told his drivers not to use the Michigan Street Bridge and did not know why the driver chose to not use the preferred Oregon Street route, according to Captain Dan Brinkman.