Residents of Blissfield are buzzing about “how to get across town” in the wake of Monday morning’s U.S. 223 bridge closure due to the extremely high level of the River Raisin. People on the west are looking for ways to get to the east side and beyond, and vice versa.
Following is the news release issued by Chief Dale Greenleaf at 4:30 a.m. Monday:
CLOSURE OF U.S. 223 IN BLISSFIELD
THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHIEF OF POLICE
DUE TO FLOODING, U.S. 223 IN BLISSFIELD IS CLOSED AT THE RIVER RAISIN. THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF ROAD CLOSURES THROUGHOUT LENAWEE COUNTY DUE TO THE FLOODING. COMMERCIAL TRUCK TRAFFIC IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO AVOID TRAFFIC ON COUNTY ROADS. WESTBOUND US-223 TRAFFIC WILL BE RE-ROUTED SOUTH ON RIGA HWY FROM US-223 TO WESTON RD, WESTON RD WEST TO M-52, M-52 NORTH TO US-223. EASTBOUND TRAFFIC WILL BE RE-ROUTED SOUTH ON M-52 TO WESTON RD, EAST ON WESTON RD TO RIGA HWY, NORTH ON RIGA HWY TO US-223.
SOME ROADS IN OUT-COUNTY AREAS THAT HAVE WATER OVER THE ROAD ARE NOT MARKED. DRIVERS ARE ADVISED TO USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING ANYWHERE IN LENAWEE COUNTY. DRIVERS ENCOUNTERING WATER OVER THE ROAD SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THROUGH THE WATER. CURRENTS ARE HIGH AND THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL INCIDENTS OF VEHICLES BEING SWEPT OFF THE ROAD DUE TO THE STRONG CURRENTS.
LOCAL RESIDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO FIND ALTERNATE ROUTES.
STEPS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO ENSURE THAT REQUESTS FOR POLICE AND FIRE SERVICE WILL BE RESPONDED TO WITHOUT DELAY DUE TO THE ROAD CLOSURE.
A SUBSEQUENT PRESS RELEASE WILL BE ISSUED WHEN U.S. 223 IS RE-OPENED.
DALE A. GREENLEAF
Chief of Police
Blissfield Village Police Department
By Melissa Burnor
At approximately 9:45 a.m. Sunday, a large tree more than 40 feet in length and 18 inches in diameter that appeared to be pulled from its roots somewhere upstream of Blissfield landed parallel to the U.S. 223 bridge over the River Raisin and could not pass under the structure Within minutes several other large branches and tree trunks floating down river began to get clogged under the bridge.
By 10 a.m. the log jam extended more than 20 feet south of the bridge.
Authorities have been notified and are checking on the situation according to Blissfield Police Chief Dale Greenleaf. MDoT has been called in to consult on the logjam.
By Melissa Burnor
The Lenawee County Road Commission will be shutting down the bridge on Crockett Highway south of Gorman Road until it can be replaced.
The Hoagland Highway bridge north of Laberdee Road is permanently closed.
Grant Emery of the LCRC said engineers were out Sunday inspecting critical bridges in the wake of flooding caused by Friday and Saturday rains in the area. The Hoagland Highway bridge is washed out. The Crockett bridge is unsafe, he said.
A logjam was impeding flow of water at the U.S. 223 bridge in Blissfield Sunday and MDOT has been called in to consult on the situation, however the bridge is not closed and traffic was flowing smoothly Sunday afternoon. For the complete story, please see the July 1, 2015, edition of The Advance. Copyright 2015, River Raisin Publications, Inc.