New warning system on Escanaba Bridge

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) — A new system that lets us know if the roads are safe finally made its way to the U.P.

A new feature on the U.S. 2 and 41 bridge over the Escanaba River has a bridge deck warning system to let drivers know if the roads are safe.

” The sensors on the bridge can look at the deck and see what the conditions are on the deck, what the temperature is, is there precipitation coming down on the deck, what’s the relative humidity in the air around it, what’s the air temperature, and then it feeds all of that information through an algorithm that then decides whether to activate flashers and warning signs on each side of the bridge, ” says Dan Weingarten, MDOT, North Region Communications Representative.

The system also notifies MDOT and the Delta County Road Commission when the warning lights are activated.

Weingarten tells me that MDOT only has two other systems like this across the state.

” This is a relatively new intelligent transportation system feature that we’re starting to use on roads around the state. This is only the third system like it that’s been installed, ” continues Weingarten.

Weingarten says MDOT may look at other bridges in the future to feature this warning system.

” This is the kinda thing that would be installed when a bridge is being reconstructed and or rehabilitated, ” says Weingarten.

Weingarten added, people driving over the Escanaba River bridge should be careful and alert.

” All of us, no matter how confident we are need to slow down when we’re driving in ice and snow and leave more room between you and the vehicle in front of you,” continues Weingarten.

The system on the Escanaba River bridge cost about $320,000.

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