Swing bridge to close?

Mary Ann of Grand Haven asked, "I hear the train bridge in Grand Haven is going to be closed in April. Will they allow boats through? Or will it only be closed to trains and open to boats?"
Mark Brooky
Mar 27, 2013

ANSWER:

While waiting to hear from the company that owns the tracks and bridge, I got in touch with John Richard, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation's Grand Region, who said he has not heard anything about it closing.

You would think the railroad company would have to notify the U.S. Coast Guard, since it concerns a navigable channel (the Grand River), but Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brady, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven, was also unaware of Mary Ann's "news."

"However, the default position for the swing bridge is open," Brady explained, "so it only impedes navigation when it's in use."

Finally, I got in touch with an official at Michigan Shore Railroad, the owner of the bridge and tracks, and he told me there are no plans to close the bridge at this time.

By the way, Michigan Shore Railroad was acquired earlier this year by Genesee & Wyoming as part of a deal in buying RailAmerica's 45 railroad lines. G&W now owns 111 railroads organized in 11 regions, with more than 15,000 miles of owned and leased track, 4,500 employees, and more than 2,000 customers.

Sounds like a solid business to me, and the Michigan Shore Railroad official (who requested his name not be used) said it's "business as usual" for them.

To see a previous Mailbag answer for who operates the swing bridge, CLICK HERE.

Comments

rukidding

Lets see, make up a question, do research, find out nothing, print it in the paper.

This certainly qualifies as a "R.U. Kidding" piece. First of all, where did Mary Ann hear that the bridge was closing; nobody else seems to know anything about this. Then several authorities are contacted and don't know anything about it; ergo a rumor that the paper is perpetuating by even acknowledging it. And, I like the "Mary Ann's "news." What news?

Wingmaster

This is now what passes for investigative reporting these days ru.

Small town paper trying to find something to report on a slow news day. Sure beats having another redundent story on racism in our high school.

SignalMaintainer

I seem to recall several questions in the past from 'Mary Ann'... Could be wrong, but that name sounds familiar in the paper.

rukidding

Hey,
Signal Guy, where you at on this one?

SignalMaintainer

I'm here, but choose not to speak due to new rules the new owners (G&W) have about divulging info. That being said, I have not heard anything either about the bridge being locked shut.

Also, you should notice RR property becoming cleaner as G&W is focused on cleanliness and safety. It will be a positive change I think! Heck, there is already a nice, shiny orange and yellow locomotive operating in the area :)

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