Work on Pere Marquette Rail Bridge to continue with fire suppression plan
PORT HURON — After a fire halted demolition of an unused railroad bridge on Tuesday, a fire protection plan that includes wetting combustible material and additional water supplies was submitted to prevent future incidents.
Port Huron Fire Chief Corey Nicholson said in an email Thursday that the fire protection plan for work to dismantle the Pere Marquette Rail Bridge has been approved by city officials. The plan involves pre-wetting any combustible materials prior to hot work, as well as a post-work wet down at the end of the workday.
The Adamo Group, the contractors on the demolition, will install equipment on the bridge starting Thursday, including a fire hose as a water supply, as well as a high-pressure water pump, due to the height of the bridge.
Nicholson said installation is estimated to take one to two days. Once the equipment is installed, the demolition will continue.
Port Huron Yacht Club Commodore Tyson Connolly said the fire was a minor setback, but the yacht club has been encouraged by cooperation with city officials and the club looks forward to continuing the project.
"What happened on Tuesday was very unfortunate, but it also displays the disrepair of the bridge and shows that this is long overdue and needed to be done," Connolly said.
Connolly said the yacht club and the contractors on the project are doing what they can to complete the demolition in the safest way possible.
On Tuesday, the Pere Marquette Rail Bridge caught on fire amid demolition work. The fire was likely caused by the heat of torches or saws that were being used at the time.
The Pere Marquette Rail Bridge is located adjacent to the Port Huron Yacht Club. The bridge was completed in 1931 and provided rail access to business north of the Black River for decades. It was placed in its upright position and abandoned in 1975.
Army Corp of Engineers issued the yacht club a demolition permit in 2020. The Corps has said it needs to be taken down before April 30 avoid interfering with shipping routes.
Contact McKenna Golat at email@example.com or 810-292-0122.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Pere Marquette Rail Bridge demolition update