Portage Lift Bridge outage plan

The Houghton County Board of Commissioners were able to get the first look at a contingency plan in case there is an emergency involving the Portage Lift Bridge.

Emergency Measures Director Jack Dueweke presented a draft of the plan to the board for their support.

Since northern Houghton County and all of Keweenaw County rest on what is essentially an island, a single mechanical failure of the lift bridge could affect thousands of residents.

Dueweke pointed out that the scenario is just a matter of time.

A temporary bridge that could be set up during an emergency is currently being looked into.

A second permanent bridge is not likely an option because the area does not meet the criteria to have one built plus the cost of a second bridge was estimated to be at least 40-million dollars.

The emergency plan will be presented to other local municipalities for their support.