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MDOT: Heat likely to blame for Grand Haven drawbridge malfunctions

Jaleesa Irizarry, WZZM-TV • May 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The weather is supposedly to blame for all the trouble the Grand Haven drawbridge caused over the last few days.

MDOT officials confirm the bridge did have some issues over the weekend after that massive back-up on Friday. They called the additional malfunctions over the weekend, minor, with minimal delays compared to the mess of traffic on Friday.

Still, the disruptions are something many say they could do without.

“It's an inconvenience yes,” Tom Jackson, a Spring Lake resident, told 13 On Your Side, on Monday. Jackson and his son got caught in some of the drawbridge delays this weekend.

“It took [my son] three hours to go around 231 and back into Grand Haven,” Jackson said.

And after Fridays snafu, another breakdown occurred on Saturday and reportedly on Sunday as well.

“It was definitely inconvenient,” Richard Baatz, another area resident said. Baatz knows this situation all too well as he crosses the bridge every day for work.

“To say at this time of year, ‘it's to be expected’ to an extent,” Baatz said. “It is a little more excessive this year than it has been in the past.”

MDOT tells 13 On Your Side the heat likely caused the issues, as parts expand it puts a hamper on things. On Monday the bridge seemed to be going off without a hitch.

MDOT has staff in the area around the clock familiar with the mechanical and electrical function of the bridge. Officials say many of the people who are well versed with the bridge weren't available when the malfunctions began on Friday afternoon. Officials plan to meet with them Tuesday to discuss if any other work needs to be done.

As a reminder, the bridge is scheduled to open every hour for boats, between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. There are no openings during the weekday rush hour times of 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Between 8:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., boats must notify the bridge tender to request an opening.

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