Waiting rooms available for those affected by lift bridge closures

HOUGHTON COUNTY — You don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the canal this Saturday night when they close the Portage Lake Lift Bridge for maintenance, but if you do, there are places you can go to wait it out.

The bridge connecting Houghton to Hancock will be closed from around 9:00 p.m. Saturday and is expected to reopen around 7:00 a.m. Sunday. M-DOT says the closure is required to disconnect lift cables from the bridge’s lift span.

If you find yourself unable to cross and without an alternate place to stay for the night, two locations have agreed to provide warm places to wait until the bridge reopens. The Magnusson Hotel Franklin Square Inn in Houghton is one. Lakeview Manor in Hancock is the other.

“We have a TV for them to watch. We have a couple couches they can sit on,” said Houghton Housing Commission Executive Director Sherry Hughes. “If we get a lot of people, we also have the community room here. We’ll have coffee and cookies out for people. There’s vending machines, and [we’ll] just try to keep everybody comfortable while they wait.”

Additional short and long term closures will continue until the project is completed in March.