GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- The Mason Street Bridge will likely remain in the upright position until the end of July.
The DOT says it is “optimistic” the Mason Street Bridge in Downtown Green Bay will be repaired by the end of July. The bridge has been stuck in the upright position since July 6. @NBC26 pic.twitter.com/DssuG6LZaP— Ben Bokun (@ben_bokun) July 15, 2021
The Department of Transportation says there's a mechanical failure that needs to be fixed. Doing so could cost nearly $500,000, and the small spaces workers are dealing with are causing longer construction times.
- WisDOT 'optimistic' Mason Street Bridge will be repaired by end of July
- Mason St. Bridge closed due to mechanical issues
"Our number one objective is safety," NE Region Maintenance Supervisor Scott Nelson said. "And ensuring it's safe for our motorists, marine traffic going through, and our workers trying to repair the bridge."
And every day the bridge is up could cost precious minutes and seconds as nearby first responders race to get on scene.
"Essentially, it's gotta route you over a different bridge," Assistant Green Bay Fire Chief Rob Goplin.
If Goplin and his firefighters need to put out a blaze across the Fox River, there's now one route they can't take.
"It has certainly forced us to make adjustments in how we respond," he said.
For the past 10 days, the Mason Street Bridge has been stuck in a lifted position. Goplin says his department's navigation system takes trucks on further-off alternative routes.
"It will look at the address [and] find the closest rig to it that can get there the fastest without utilizing Mason St.," Goplin said.
But Green Bay firefighters are used to bridge delays from passing trains. And Goplin says they have plans in place.
"[We would] request assistance from other agencies from an agency that's on the appropriate side of the river, so that they wouldn't have to worry about the bridge," he said.
The DOT says it's been working with Green Bay first responders to get ambulances and police where they need to go in a timely manner.
"It's kind of like motorists have been doing for us here for the last week, some pre-trip planning," Nelson said. "And they just know that this is a route they can't use for those responses."
During the bridge's closure, Goplin hasn't had to call for extra help yet. But he says he doesn't rely on the road anyway.
"We've got very good people," he said. "They know what they're doing. They know how to get where they need to go. And we rely on that."
The DOT reports there's a chance repairs could be finished sooner. But it's trying to keep workers safe throughout the tough process.