A portion of road in the eastbound lane of U.S. 10 just outside the Ludington city limits is expected to be back to two lanes before the end of next week after being reduced to one lane for the past two weeks, according to Mason County Road Commission Superintendent Jeff Loeser.
The right-hand lane is currently closed and traffic is being merged into the left lane on a short stretch of U.S. 10 just east of Jackson Road in front of the WKLA building as a result of manholes that require replacement, Loeser told the Daily News on Wednesday.
“That lane closure is up because of two manholes that are failing,” he said. “The castings themselves are damaged from wear; they’re just worn out.”It’s been a continuing problem, said Loeser, who noted that the castings — into which the manhole covers fit — have failed “six or seven times in the last six months.”
Loeser said the need to replace the castings means the job falls outside the purview of the road commission, which works on maintenance issues alone.
Instead, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) had to be notified of the issue.
“Our obligation is to notify MDOT about it, and we did that,” Loeser said.
He added that MDOT has been contracting with Greenscape to repair castings and catch basins along the U.S. 10 corridor, and that the work on the stretch of road is being included in that contract.
“We set the closure up for MDOT, and MDOT has a crew that’s actually looking at U.S. 10 right now,” Loeser said.
John Richard, an MDOT public relations representative for the region, confirmed that the casting repairs would be completed by crews already working on the U.S. 10 corridor.
Loeser said it takes some time to get the message out to MDOT and for MDOT to evaluate the costs and materials needed to make the fix, which is responsible for the two-week delay.
“Crews are going to try to have it done by the end of next week,” Loeser said, though he emphasized other work along the corridor will be ongoing.