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Surprise closing of US 23 causing congestion, crashes

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:44 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The sudden closure of US 23 in Monroe County is already causing a major traffic mess, and it’s only the beginning.

The closure began Friday and is expected to last several days as crews work to repair an overhead railroad bridge.

The highway is closed between Dundee and Milan in both directions. So far, it’s been bumper-to-bumper traffic, causing headaches for more than just those behind the wheel.

“It’s definitely impacted business,” Maria Reilly, owner of Nutrition Village in Dundee, said. “People just don’t know. There are no detour signs, so people are coming off the highway and not knowing where to go.”

US 23 will be closed in Michigan for repairs to a railroad bridge.
US 23 will be closed in Michigan for repairs to a railroad bridge.(WTVG)

The road is closed for nearly nine miles, between M-50 in Dundee and Plank Rd. in Milan. The repairs on the railroad bridge north of Cone Rd. were necessary after a truck hit it in August.

“There was no notice, and everybody was caught off guard and everyone was just losing their minds,” Dundee resident Angie Meehling said. “This was a surprise to all of us.”

Dundee police chief Kent Jeppesen said the unexpected closure meant there was no time to post detours, creating congestion and clogged back roads.

“Our biggest battle right now is Google and Siri because everyone is using their phones and the routes they tell you to take sometimes aren’t the best routes to take,” Jeppesen said. “To me, it’s almost really dangerous out there.”

Since the closure, Dundee Police have responded to several crashes along US 23. They’re working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Milan Police, and Michigan State Police to find the best and safest detour for drivers.

US 23 is expected to be closed until at least September 24.

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