By Tim Kowols
Over-height vehicles are still causing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to close the Michigan Street Bridge periodically, including a weeklong span beginning December 4. This will mark the third time DOT officials will close the bridge this year for repairs after a backhoe towed by a semi-truck struck several of its beams. In two separate incidents in May and June, a scrap metal truck from B&B Processing in Newton, Wis. caused additional damage to the bridge, forcing crews to straighten seven beams and replace one more next week. Mark Kantola from the DOT says the drawn-out schedule is because it does not want to interfere with peak travel seasons in Sturgeon Bay.
The DOT was forced to recreate several of the pieces earlier this year using LiDAR technology because of the age of the bridge, which was opened in 1931. Kantola says repairs are estimated to be around $15,000 and will be covered by B&B Processing.