Longbridge Road to open by end of November.

November 4, 2019

Photo of Longbridge Road provided by Oceana County Road Commission.

Longbridge Road to open by end of November.

PENTWATER TOWNSHIP – After six months of being closed, the Oceana County Road Commission (OCRC) announced that Longbridge Road will open soon.

Construction will begin almost immediately to reopen the flooded road after the road commission received approval for a building permit. It is now expected to reopen by the end of November.

“At about 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, EGLE (Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, formerly the Department of Enviromental Quality) gave the Oceana County Road Commission approval to proceed with the project on Longbridge to raise the road,” said OCRC Managing Director Mark Timmer. “I contacted the contractor who will be beginning work this week.”

The road commission unanimously approved authorization of $200,000 plus engineering costs for the project, Sept. 25.

“This change of plans by the OCRC is a direct result of the unprecedented opposition to the continued closure of Longbridge Road — even for one more day,” said Mark Trierweiler, president of Open Long Bridge Road Now!!!, a 100-plus member coalition formed to consolidate citizen rage over delayed emergency services and inconveniences attributable to the May 1 closure of Longbridge Road, among the busiest in Oceana County, states a press release from the coalition.

“On behalf of our coalition, I want to thank Oceana County road commissioners for hearing our concerns and for acting quickly to reopen Longbridge Road,” Trierweiler said. “Commission members are to be commended for acting so decisively to open Longbridge Road, which is the life-line road to everything the people of Pentwater Township need to thrive. We’ve already experienced at least 100 emergency runs in Pentwater Township so far this year, so we believe time is of the essence. Just last month a visitor to Apache Hills Subdivision experienced a stroke in which the patient’s emergency care was delayed because of the road closure.

“Nothing will prevent our coalition from working constructively with the OCRC in the future. Our coalition wants the OCRC to have the resources it needs to provide us with excellent roads that they want as much as we do.

“We want to thank all the people who joined us in our fight to get Longbridge Road open again,” said Trish Davidson, president of the Apache Hills Property Owners’ Association and member of the coalition. “When we decided we’d had enough of the bridge being closed, we knew we had to do something about it. We gave people a place to join together to leverage our size. We were amazed what we were able to accomplish together in such a short time.”

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the media outlets that covered our coalition’s efforts to get Longbridge Road re-opened,“ said Amy Fleming, a coalition member who spoke before OCRC members several times and also was quoted for news stories about the concerns she has had for her family‘s safefy because of the closure. “They could see the anxiety on our faces, and we felt reporters’ empathy in their coverage of our efforts,” Fleming said.

Dan Hallack, owner of Hallack Contracting, Inc., which was awarded the contract to complete the work, said that residents should notice activity on the bridge beginning tomorrow as materials and equipment will be moved in to the begin construction, which is expected to take three weeks to complete.

Members of the coalition will begin immediately to plan for a Longbridge Launch Party to celebrate the reopening of the road, expected by Dec. 1.