More than 40 people were on hand Friday to witness the dedication and ceremonial opening of the U.S. 131 Constantine bypass.
Several local residents, village, township, county and state officials joined in the ceremony at the south end of the new bridge spanning the St. Joseph River. Those in attendance witnessed a ceremony by the Constantine Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 35, as well as brief speeches by a number of dignitaries.
Though traffic on the 4.9-mile bypass won’t be on the roadway until the end of the month, Friday’s ceremonial ribbon cutting ensured the celebration took place in sunny weather. Construction on the $18 million bypass started earlier this year and follows what some area residents claim is the culmination of decades of talk regarding the bypass.
Among the speakers were Constantine village manager Mark Honeysett, village president Patricia Weiss, former State Sen. Cameron Brown, former State Rep. Rick Shafer, State Rep. Matt Lori, State Sen. Bruce Caswell and former Constantine village president Ken Oates.
A 17-year-old Sturgis-area resident was airlifted to an Indiana hospital after the vehicle he was driving was struck by an SUV Wednesday in Nottawa Township.
State police said the Sturgis teen was driving north on Nottawa Road around 4:30 p.m. an eastbound vehicle driven by a 26-year-old Three Rivers man failed to stop at the intersection of Findley Road.
The teen was taken to Sturgis Hospital and airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Ft. Wayne. His condition was not available.
The Three Rivers man was not injured.
A summer-long project in the village of Centreville finished last week.
Thanks to a state grant of more than $400,000 awarded last fall, the installation of sidewalks along the village’s busiest streets leading to Centreville Elementary and Centreville Jr./Sr. High schools has been completed.
The $416,000 Michigan Department of Transportation grant was one of six issued to Michigan communities as part of its Safe Routes to School initiative.
Chris Sheteron, a former village council member and key figure in the 2009 establishment of the village’s Safe Routes to School Committee, said the sidewalks give school kids on the west side of the village a safer way to get to school.
The majority of the sidewalks run parallel to West Railroad and Charlotte streets.
Sunny skies helped draw more than 2,000 people to Meyer Broadway Park as part of Sunday’s Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour.
The county-owned park was one of 13 locations on the 2013 tour, a self-guided event offering attractions, activities, food and fall-related fun.
Christy Trammell, executive director of the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, said many of the people she talked to during the event decided the day of to participate because of the sunny weather.
Other popular stops on the tour included Swiss Valley, Corey Lake Orchards Farm Market, Scidmore Park and Riverbend Farm Antiques.
The tour has been an annual Three Rivers-area event since the 1950s.
A 35-year-old Three Rivers man suffered minor injuries after he was involved in a single-vehicle accident over the weekend in Cass County’s Lagrange Township.
Sheriff Joe Underwood said his office responded at 3:10 a.m. Sunday to a personal-injury crash at the intersection of Pokagon Highway and Wilberhill Road.
Demetrius Pritchard was traveling south on Wilberhill in a Pontiac minivan when he fell asleep and failed to stop at the three-way intersection on Pokagon Highway.
Pritchard’s vehicle went airborne, down an embankment, struck a utility pole and rolled his numerous times, coming to rest in a cornfield approximately 300 yards south of the roadway.
Pritchard was able to crawl from the vehicle and call for help. Injuries appeared to be minor, though Pritchard was transported to Dowagiac’s Lee Memorial Hospital for observation.
Crews from the St. Joseph County Road Commission this week started work on a $100,000 upgrade of the Langley Covered Bridge.
The task, slated to take two weeks to complete, focuses on replacing the upper portion of the bridge’s two-layer deck.
Chris Minger, director of operations, said the bridge has a two-part floor, and the structure is at a point where its condition requires the removal and replacement of oak planks.
Minger said a few additional odd jobs will be done while the bridge is closed. Some of that work includes replacing cross-piece stabilizers, as well as duties that can be performed only from under the 300-foot-long bridge.
Minger said the Langley Covered Bridge averages between 1,700 and 2,000 vehicles a day. Its detour has traffic heading about a mile east to Angevine Road.