By Mike Kruzman /

Hamburg Township officials are hiring a contractor to move blockage from a bridge and are considering options for that upkeep going forward.

The Huron River Bridge has seen a buildup of logs and debris since the flood in August. Hamburg Township Supervisor Pat Hohl, at the Board of Trustees’ latest meeting, called it an absolute mess where the Lakelands Trail crosses. There is said to be a tremendous amount of debris with 8 foot pilings of cattails and logs that are up to 30-inches around. Treasurer Jason Negri said that in his 9 years on the Board, he doesn’t remember the blockage ever being this bad.

Prior attempts to find a contractor interested in launching a barge in the river to do the cleanup proved to be fruitless and a danger to the bridge structure because of numerous currents in the area.

With the help of a DNR Southern Michigan Trails Specialist, the Board authorized hiring contractor Waters Edge Dock & Hoist to come in with an excavator, clear any debris under the bridge, and haul it away. To do so the railing will need to be temporarily removed but will be reinstalled after, with a DNR bridge engineer inspecting it.

Following that approval, Trustee Bill Hahn spoke of the former volunteer River Clean Up committee he was a part of that once had roughly 40 community members helping to keep the river clear for nearly a decade and a half. With that group essentially defunct and no one stepping up, Hahn motioned for the township to put together a request for proposal to see if anyone would be willing to take it on and learn more about what it might cost. Hahn felt this would help the people affected by the flooding better understand the costs involved, and added that if they don’t get volunteers, they may need to get those directly affected to pay.

The Board approved putting to together the RFP for future costs of cleanup from Strawberry Lake upriver to Ore Lake. That stretch is roughly 2.5 river miles.