MDOT issues warning against trespassing in M-30 bridge construction site

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 7:53 PM EST
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GLADWIN COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Trespassing has become an issue at an active Michigan Department of Transportation work site near the partially collapsed Edenville Dam.

The problem is happening where the M-30 bridge over the Tobacco River collapsed after the dam failed last May. MDOT contractors are installing a temporary bridge to carry traffic until a permanent replacement can be constructed.

Crews have caught folks driving past three sets of barriers into the temporary bridge construction zone and even a few people out walking around in the open.

Anyone caught in the act may soon face some consequences.

“We are seeing vehicles drive past those two sets of barriers and then realize that it is fact closed, and then they have to turn around,” said MDOT spokeswoman Jocelyn Hall.

A few drivers trying to get home are allowed past the barriers, but curiosity seems to be getting the best of several other people who should not be in the area.

“This project is very visible and loud and disruptive to those who live there, so we certainly understand why there’s so much interest in the site,” Hall said. “But from a safety standpoint, we need to make sure that people who aren’t support to be there aren’t visiting.”

Some aren’t even in their cars when trespassers come through the work zone.

“Crane operators are moving materials with machinery and then all of a sudden there is someone standing there who isn’t authorized to be on the job site,” Hall said.

She said keeping unauthorized people off the site protects their safety and helps keep the project on schedule.

“To have somebody wandering around the work zone creates an additional barrier,” Hall said. “We don’t want a situation where a worker is injured trying to warn someone that they’re in danger or because they’re getting distracted last second.”

Michigan State Police will have extra patrols through the area, stopping people who don’t belong there before the bridge opens in mid-February. In the meantime, MDOT will post regular updates and photos on its social media accounts for anyone curious about the project’s progress.

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