The West Fruitport Road dip off the north end of Stahl (Hanky Pank) Bayou, between Judson and Walker roads, is closed to all traffic at this time, according to Scott Saigeon, assistant county highway engineer for the Muskegon County Road Commission.
A crew from White Lake Excavating is digging a 250-foot-long trench on one side of the road to install new drainage.
“There were potholes forming due to water saturating the base,” Saigeon said.
He noted that a spring beneath the road and the high water table were contributing to the road deterioration.
Road Commission engineering technician David Huber said the clay in the area was keeping water from properly draining, and a drainage system installed with the nearby bike path wasn’t deep enough to take care of the water.
The trench is about 15 feet wide and several feet deep.
Huber said the workers were installing a 6-inch perforated pipe in a bed of pea stone and wrapping it with a geotextile cloth that will let water in, but keep out the dirt so that the drainage can keep working. The work is anticipated to take about a week.
This is the same area that experienced a culvert washout several years ago, causing the road to be closed for an extended period of time.
Huber emphasized that it is important for pedestrians to avoid the area as well as vehicles. He noted that a group of athletes had tried to jog through the area on Wednesday. The Road Commission had to call the school and ask them to keep the students away from the construction zone.
Bicyclists and walkers were still trying to get through.
“For their safety, we’re trying to keep them out,” said Huber, noting that there are large vehicles moving around the area. “It’s also for our liability.”
The detour is Judson to Pontaluna to Walker. If you are approaching from the west, try going directly to Pontaluna Road, then east to Walker Road and back south, rather than backtracking on Judson Road. Bicyclists would want to take Harvey or Judson to Pontaluna. The detour is about 3-3.5 miles, depending on your route.