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Swing bridge to close?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM

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.

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