Grand Haven drawbridge sticks, causes traffic backups

Posted at 2:05 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 20:04:59-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- The drawbridge at US-31 in Grand Haven has reopened after being stuck for several hours Friday.

The mechanical issue caused traffic to be backed up for miles.

The bridge over the Grand River was raised and was not coming back together for the northbound lanes.  The problem started at about 1:45 p.m.

Northbound traffic was backed up into the city of Grand Haven.  Southbound traffic was backed up to the Muskegon County line.  See the MDOT map here.

Traffic reopened in both directions as of 4:15 p.m.

The closure was a headache for many people in the area traveling for Memorial Day weekend.

"I looked on my phone and Google basically told me 'It's better for you to walk a mile here rather than drive," said Braxton Viniski, who was stuck in traffic during the bridge closure. "Because it would take 45 minutes to an hour [to drive], and it would only take me 20 minutes to walk here."

It wasn't just holiday travelers who were impacted.  Local businesses were too.

"It was bumper to bumper people trying to get in and out, and the surrounding businesses for people to just get out back onto the street was pretty nightmarish for a minute there," said Katie Sandberg, owner of The Paisley Pig Gastropub.

Grand Haven Public Schools also alerted families that school buses would likely be running behind schedule Friday afternoon.