Big Switch Coming: Front St. south lane is ready for asphalt

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette Crews are seen working on the ramp from Front Street in Hancock to east bound M-26 Monday. The work on the south side of Front Street should finish this week or early next then move to the north side of the street.

HANCOCK — The reconstruction of Front Street in Hancock is continuing without serious problems, and work will soon switch to the north side of the street, according to Al Anderson.

Anderson, project manager for the Michigan Department of Transportation Ishpeming Transportation Service Center, said the work on the south side of the street is progressing as planned.

“They’re putting some curb down,” he said. “They plan to lay down asphalt Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday,” he said.

The plan is to put asphalt on the ramp from Front Street to M-26, which runs under the Portage Lake Lift Bridge at the same time as Front Street, Anderson said.

When construction moves to the north side of Front Street early next week, Anderson said after the current surface is excavated, some underground work will take place with the replacement of storm sewers.

The project is still expected to be finished by the end of July, Anderson said.

Also taking place currently is a separate project for creating pedestrian bump outs on Hancock Street, for which Anderson said concrete will soon be poured.

“Over the next couple weeks, that will be completed,” he said.

Anderson said on Wednesday and for the next three Wednesdays, crews will be doing planned maintenance on the gate arms on the PLLB, requiring intermittent closures of up to 20 minutes.

“It takes a little time,” he said.

Crews will also be doing some lubricating of parts of the bridge, Anderson said.

The bridge is still being raised on the hour if boats need to go through, and Anderson said that will be the schedule until Thursday.

“After Thursday, it will be on demand,” he said.

Since a problem with the bridge caused a 50-minute closure in April, Anderson there have been no problems with its operation.