BREITUNG TOWNSHIP — Construction on Quinnesec–Lake Antoine Road in Dickinson County wrapped up over the summer after a long and storied period of development. Those involved in the $2.7 million, 6,200 man–hour project gathered in Breitung Township Monday not to cut a ribbon, but rather a log, in a nod to the five mile road’s use as a route for large trucks to bypass the City of Iron Mountain.
“One of the purposes of this is to take the heavy truck traffic out of the City of Iron Mountain,” said Lance Malburg, Engineer for the Dickinson County Road Commission. “Downtown some of the lanes are only nine feet wide, and (when) you get a wide truck in there, it’s kind of tight.”
The project has been in the works in since the late 1970s. Monday’s celebration was made possible thanks to the combined efforts of a wide range of parties.
“Teamwork gets it done every time,” said Breitung Township Supervisor Denny Olson. “You need the whole community, the whole county, the state. We got everyone involved.”
“It wasn’t just teamwork, it was kind of relentless teamwork,” State Representative Ed McBroom said. “We’d try one avenue to get the funding and the resources needed to do the repairs, and when that fell through, then we’d move on to the next one.”
“It’s something that the funding would have been very difficult if they’d have individually tried to come in and get the funding for it, so with everybody speaking together, it worked,” said State Senator Tom Casperson.
Providing an efficient shipping route for Dickinson County industries was one of the main reasons the county was able to secure a large portion of the funding from MDOT’s Transportation Economic Development Fund.
Business transporation isn’t the only thing the road will provide. Officials hope the corridor will hold value and improve safety for the entire community, with a brand new bike path and access to numerous recreational facilities along its length.
“This road, in the condition it’s in now, has made it so much safer,” Olson added. “Whether you’re riding your bike, whether you’re in your car, whether you’re in a little delivery truck, or if you’re in one of the big eleven–axle log trucks, we’re all part of this.”