Closed Montague area road to reopen this year

Muskegon County Culvert

MONTAGUE, MICH. - Hancock Road near Indian Bay Road has been closed for five years after two culverts under the road failed during a big storm in 2013.

Now Muskegon County Drain Commissioner Brenda Moore is pursuing a plan to replace the culvert at that location which will allow the Muskegon County Road Commission to reopen the road later this year.

It's a $3.2 million project that will include significant improvements to the Pierson Swamp Drain.

The drain flows under Hancock Road. "This system has been unraveling for decades," Moore said.

The drain and Pierson Creek has been running wild, undercutting banks, and pulling down trees.

It's trees and other debris that blocked the culverts in 2013 causing the significant road washout that was never repaired.

"It just continues to erode and degrade," Moore said.

Creek banks will be stabilized and new vegetation will be planted in an effort to reduce water run off from farm fields.

The drain project includes a new culvert on Eilers Road and one at Hancock Road where the road remains closed.

"A full-span box culvert that spans the floodplain and spans the creek so debris can pass through it in a more reasonable way," Moore said.

The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners recently decided  to give the county's full faith and credit to the project.

Some site work in the area will begin this month. More visible work will start on the Pierson Swamp Drain in July or August.

The cost of the project will be covered by assessments to White River and Montague Townships, Muskegon County, and more than 400 property owners who live in the drainage district.

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