SC4 Juneteenth celebration sees success

St. Clair County Community College recently collaborated with the Port Huron community to host the third annual Juneteenth celebration, A Taste of Heritage, Freedom and Unity, on June 19 at SC4.

“The event was a remarkable success, with over 700 members of the community joining in a proud celebration of African American culture,” college officials said in a news release.

“SC4 is committed to providing opportunities for learning and reflecting,” SC4 President Kirk Kramer said in the release. “Juneteenth 2024 was a collaboration by SC4 with several local entities to be present today through knowing our yesterday. SC4 is here for everyone to succeed.”

Road work underway

Area motorists will see a handful of road and intermittent lane closures this week as various projects are completed throughout St. Clair County.

All projects are weather dependent. Here’s a look at what’s ahead:

• Casco, Columbus, St. Clair, Kimball townships: Eastbound I-94 between County Line and Ravenswood roads will have lane closures during the week of July 1 due to gravel shoulder replacement.

• Fort Gratiot Township: State Road between Carrigan and Keewahdin roads will be closed to all traffic through July 3 due to a culvert replacement in the area.

• Port Huron, Kimball townships: Westbound I-94 between Michigan Street and Gratiot Avenue will have lane closures throughout the week of July 1 due to concrete patching.

• Port Huron Township: Strawberry Lane between West Water Street and Huckleberry Lane will have an intermittent lane closure during the week of July 1 due to a ditching project.

MDOT gives Blue Water Bridge project update

The Michigan Department of Transportation has closed the eastbound span of the Blue Water Bridge to complete critical maintenance, expected to be finished in mid-October.

The project is managed by MDOT and will address required maintenance on the eastbound Blue Water Bridge span connecting Port Huron and Point Edward, Ontario, Canada, according to a news release.

During construction, both directions of traffic will be using the westbound span.

To reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on Blue Water Bridge and in the city of Port Huron, MDOT is closing the Pine Grove Avenue ramp to the toll plaza every Thursday at 9 a.m. until every Saturday at 9 a.m. throughout the rest of construction. The ramp closure will prevent congestion from impacting local streets in the community during peak travel times for bridge users.

Pine Grove Avenue ramp traffic will be detoured via Pine Grove Avenue, westbound Hancock Street, westbound I-94, southbound Range Road and eastbound I-94 to the Blue Water Bridge Plaza.

MDOT will continue to provide a dedicated toll lane for EDGE pass holders.

While MDOT completes the maintenance, the Federal Bridge Corporation Limited will address additional repairs on the eastbound span, much of which is occurring under the bridge deck. MDOT and FBCL are working closely to coordinate work and closures, reducing continual impact on commuters.

Blue Water Bridge customers should expect the following impacts for the remainder of construction:

• Dedicated lanes for buses are not being provided.

• Wide loads are being restricted to less than 10 feet.

“The BWB is an essential economic link between Canada and the United States,” the release states. “This important project continues the commitment between MDOT and FBCL to maintain and preserve the safety and reliability of the BWB.”

Communities awarded funds for projects

Marine City was recently awarded $50,000 for an accessible fishing pier and walkway on the Belle River and Port Huron was awarded $20,000 for installing a volleyball court in the new 16th Street Park, a public space transforming into active, multi-sport fields and play areas.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation recently announced their full slate of annual grants, totaling $800,000 to 37 organizations through the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds, according to a news release.

The endowed funds, which the Community Foundation manages, focus on regional caregiving, design and access to public spaces, youth sports and the Grosse Pointe communities.

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation established the funds at the Community Foundation to support issues that were important to the late Ralph C. Wilson Jr., a Detroit native, former Grosse Pointe resident and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills football team. Endowed funds at the Community Foundation are designed to grow over time and provide funding in perpetuity for charitable causes according to a donor’s wishes.

“The Wilson Legacy Funds are an incredible asset for southeast Michigan,” Community Foundation President Richard (Ric) DeVore said in the release. “From support for caregivers of LGBTQ+ older adults, to the installation of an accessible kayak launch, to a new theater program focused on senior citizens, this year’s grantmaking was designed to expand access to a variety of opportunities that make our region a place where everyone can thrive.”

The endowed Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation are complementary to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s efforts to create an immediate impact within the communities of southeast Michigan and western New York.

“The Legacy Funds are a generous, important tool of support, particularly for a range of smaller and midsized nonprofit organizations,” the release states. “Grants from these funds are made annually, and information on the next round of grantmaking will be available this fall.”

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