TRAVERSE CITY — The 106-year-old St. Joseph Catholic Church is ready for its slow, mile-long journey down Center Road to its new home on Old Mission Peninsula.
Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday will close Center Road between Island View Road and Blue Water Road from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Church officials postponed the original, mid-July move date over concerns it might interfere with the peninsula's cherry harvest.
"It's one truck after the other leaving the peninsula during harvest," said Rob Manigold, a cherry farmer and Peninsula Township supervisor. "Closing the main road would certainly disrupt everything.
"It was nice of them to postpone it," Manigold said.
Some Center Road residents can expect brief power interruptions while electric lines are disconnected as the historic sanctuary is moved to its new home next to the 114-year old parish cemetery.
Consumers Energy customers north of Gray Road also may need battery back-up for their alarm clocks because a major distribution line will be powered down Wednesday at 4 a.m. until roughly 6 a.m.
The line runs along the western edge of Center Road and the church has to go beneath it to reach its new location. To avoid a day-time power interruption, the movers will leave the church along the side of the road after its Tuesday morning jaunt and move it under the lines Wednesday while most people sleep.
Church officials said they are confident electricity will be restored no later than 6 a.m. on Wednesday.
Once settled on its new foundation, the church will undergo its most substantial makeover since the main chapel was constructed in 1907.
The parish will add wings and a new vestibule to increase seating capacity by about 50 and eliminate steps that made attendance at mass difficult for some parishioners. New bathrooms and a parish center with offices, classrooms, and a social hall will round out the $2 million project.