Heading north? US-131 northbound to close in Mecosta County

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MORLEY, Mich. — If you’re heading to a favorite weekend spot up north, you’re also heading for a detour off US-131.

Northbound US-131 will be closed for bridge demolition north of Morley from Saturday at 3 p.m. through Thursday, August 8-14, says the Michigan Department of Transportation. The closure last five days because a new bridge built adjacent to the old bridge needs to be slid into place once the old bridge is torn down and approaches to the bridge must be constructed before traffic can roll over it.

The unusual bridge-slide process will take place Sunday evening, and then approaches will be constructed for re-opening the highway by Thursday evening. This saves closing the northbound lanes of US-131 for the several months it usually takes to demolish an old bridge and build a new one in its place.

“So folks heading up north for some Pure Michigan will drive up Friday evening/Saturday morning on the old bridge, drive back  Sunday on unaffected southbound, and then when they come back the following weekend, they’ll drive over the new bridge,” said MDOT’S John Richard in an email to FOX 17.

All traffic will be routed along this detour: Exit at the Morley exit at mile 125, east on Jefferson Road into Morley, north on Northland Drive, east on 8 Mile to return to northbound US-131.

The bridge being demolished carries the northbound lanes of US-131 over 3 Mile Road in Mecosta County. The new bridge will be open to traffic by Thursday evening, says MDOT.

(During the weekend closure, MDOT provided this image of the new bridge before it was slid into place.)

08-10-14 3 Mile Mecosta bridge slide (MDOT)

08-10-14 3 Mile Mecosta bridge slide (MDOT)

MDOT produced an animation that describes the bridge slide process:

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