Bluff Road closed due to erosion issues on the Old Mission Peninsula
Bluff Road closed due to erosion issues | Jane Boursaw Photo
Feel free to share this post...

Longtime OMP and Bluff Road resident Bud Stych weighs in on the road closure and shoreline erosion issues…

Part of Bluff Road in Peninsula Township was closed in January due to shoreline erosion, and the Grand Traverse County Road Commission announced on Jan. 7 that it will be closed for an indeterminate amount of time.

Old Mission Gazette is Reader Supported.
Click Here to Keep the Gazette Going.

The Road Commission says they will have to wait until spring, likely April or later because of the weather, to get someone down to the water to assess the situation. They would then file for the appropriate permits to begin repairs, which could take several months.

Carl Brown, chairman of the Road Commission Board, says the problem was not caused by their tree cutting project which took place in 2017. However, the Road Commission was certainly negligent for not recognizing the problem sooner.

Peninsula Township Supervisor Rob Manigold has offered to launch one of the Peninsula Township Fire Department’s boats immediately to transport a qualified Road Commission person to assess the situation, but the Road Commission has not responded to this offer.

Apparently, the Road Commission is not interested in a more timely solution. But the longer they wait, the worse it will get. More damage will be done to the shoreline and the road. More air pollution will be created by delivery and other vehicles having to backtrack to and from the closure. And houses could slide down the banks, as we’ve seen in other areas around Michigan with shoreline erosion.

It is obvious that the Road Commission does not care about Peninsula Township residents except when it comes to the taxes they collect and distribute to other townships.

Peninsula Township Supervisor Manigold has said this is unacceptable, and that immediate action is required. The Township is considering taking independent action.

Also Read…

SUPPORT YOUR INDEPENDENT LOCAL NEWSPAPER: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever. Thank you so much for your support! -Jane Boursaw, Editor/Publisher, Old Mission Gazette

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation.

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. I do not know the answer. BUT did the tree cutting partially cause this problem. And they want to take over M-37?

    • The Road Commission says the tree-cutting did not contribute to the problem where the road is closed, and that might be the case, since most of the tree-cutting took place south of there. However, I think most of us agree that tree-cutting in other areas of Bluff Road hasn’t helped the erosion problem. Vegetation is needed to help stabilize the banks along the shore.

  2. Due to permits taking months to obtain, not recognizing the need to IMMEDIATELY assess the situation and get “the ball rolling” with a plan and all of the applications submitted for necessary permits is inconceivable. By all educated accounts, the water levels will increase again this year, which means further damage is only a question in how soon it will happen, because it will surely happen. Bluff Road is definitely not the only road with issues. Peninsula Drive is in great peril in areas, as well as parts of Center directly on the bay. This past fall was the time to have assessed the danger, obtained the necessary permits and taken preventative measures before the roads start to disintegrate. It would have been more cost effective as well. Where is the foresight here?

  3. Why did it take about 2 weeks to repair Peninsula drive and this will take months?? The issue seems very similar.

    • Hi,

      It will take months, probably many months, since the Road Commission is its own little fiefdom that will do what it wants to do when it wants to do it — if ever.

      Despite letters to the editor, engaging Peninsula Township officials and our County Commissioner and outlining ways to start the inspection now instead of sometime in the future, the Road Commission has done nothing.

      When the road is closed, it lengthens the response time of the Fire Department to get to a seriously ill person in that area.

      I truly believe they don’t know how to solve the problems at the Bluff Road closure so they are just sitting back on their haunches and doing nothing.

      Peninsula Township residents deserve better.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Please enter an e-mail address

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.