Bridge closed in Ely Township

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ELY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) — Bridges like the one over the Black River in Ely Township are meant for driving over.

Except when the Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources say the bridge could fail at any time.

John Pepin, Deputy Public Information Officer, Michigan Department of Natural Resources said, “Well this was a bridge that was previously listed as a critical condition bridge and then a recent inspection by MDOT determined that the superstructure of the bridge, the underlying parts were at the imminent failure stage and that upgraded the condition of the bridge and forced us to close it to the public.”

Inspectors say the bridge shouldn’t be used and gates are expected up this week, keeping people from using the 40-year-old structure.

“The bridge was constructed with an old railroad car and underneath the wooden deck of the bridge, some of those structures have now worn away and are instable if you drive vehicles across the bridge,” said Pepin.

With a price tag of nearly $400,000 and no timeline for when it could be replaced, John Pepin says this bridge is closed for business.

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