The ramps on the northbound side of the highway should reopen by the end of the month, said project manager Marc Fredrickson, assistant construction engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation. Work on the southbound side ramps will begin about two weeks later — around May 16.
Fredrickson said the south-side phase of the project will take 5-6 weeks to complete, because it also involves lining up the on- and off-ramps. The bridge will remain closed and work will continue throughout that time.
The bridge project includes replacing its decking and rails, narrowing the pedestrian walkway, and establishing short turn lanes at both ends to help alleviate backed-up traffic. Approaches to the bridge are also being resurfaced, as well as the on- and off-ramps on both sides of U.S. 31.
The City of Norton Shores is also resurfacing the section of Pontaluna Road from the edge of the MDOT project to the Craig’s Cruisers driveway. That part of the project should also be done by the end of the month, Fredrickson said.
The recreational business remains open to the public throughout the project.
Final grading on the northbound side of the highway was done Tuesday. Paving was expected to begin late this week.
Fredrickson said the goal continues to be to have the entire roadway open before the Fourth of July.