Eyes (almost) in the sky

HOUGHTON – There are four cameras mounted at various locations on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, and it’s expected four more will be going up soon.

Jeff Barsch, transportation engineer at the Michigan Department of Transportation Ishpeming office, said the cameras are being installed for security purposes, and they will aid the bridge operators, who have some blind spots from their location on the north support posts.

“The operators can’t see everywhere,” he said.

Barsch said the cameras are not being installed as part of the new construction on M-26 or for the maintenance work on the bridge scheduled to start in December.

“This is a separate project we’ve been working on for quite awhile,” he said.

Jack Dueweke, emergency measures coordinator for Houghton and Keweenaw counties, said cameras were purchased with an $11,215 Stonegarden grant through the Homeland Security grant program.

Dueweke said the cameras are intended to monitor the bridge itself.

“We’re just keeping a little better track of that critical piece of our infrastructure,” he said.

Within the next six months, Dueweke said the remainder of the eight cameras will be mounted on the bridge.

“That would be the plan,” he said.


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