Grand Haven traffic snarled by drawbridge malfunction

Posted at 1:41 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-22 17:23:46-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - Getting around Grand Haven has been difficult Wednesday after another malfunction of the U.S. 31 drawbridge.

The southbound lanes of the bridge were blocked for about an hour late Wednesday morning as the bridge did not properly close.  Northbound lanes were affected for a shorter amount of time.

U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga happened to be in Grand Haven at the time of the malfunction.

Huizenga was in a meeting with both MDOT and the U.S. Coast Guard discussing issues with the bridge and possible solutions at the time of the breakdown.

Earlier this year, the bridge broke down twice during Memorial Day weekend. MDOT cited the first breakdown as a result of a locking mechanism malfunction, and said the second breakdown was caused by a blown fuse. MDOT said the two breakdowns back in May were unrelated, despite happening two days in a row.

MDOT has not gotten back to Fox 17 regarding a cause of today's breakdown.

Huizenga says because the Coast Guard controls how often the draw bridge goes up and down to let boats through, and MDOT controls the infrastructure of the bridge, it needs to be a team effort.

“One, in the short term. Is there going to be a procedure? Is there a way of declaring sort of a time frame so you could just keep the bridge down so traffic could move?” U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga said.

Huizenga says there needs to be a long term solution as well, but is hoping in the short-term, they can come up with a plan so some type of breakdown doesn't happen during the upcoming Labor Day holiday.