IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — It’s the time of year when road improvement projects become the norm. One project that recently wrapped up in Alger County has brought a new surface to a major corridor.
“This was absolutely a great deal,” said Senator Tom Casperson (R–Escanaba). “You saw the federal government, the state government, and the county government all working together to make this road happen.”
Federal Forest Highway 13 in Alger County recently received some preventative care to keep it in good working order.
“The total project cost is $346,000 to do 12.5 miles of preventative maintenance chip sealing. This single layer of hot emulsion and chips preserves the pavement’s surface, seals the cracks, and the estimated addition to the surface life is five to seven years,” said Alger County Road Commission Engineer Manager Bob Lindbeck.
The money required to complete the resurfacing was provided in part through Federal Lands Access funding, which requires a 20 percent match of non–federal funds. A multi–agency group effort helped secure the funds.
“Alger was lacking with some of the match. They needed some help,” Casperson added. “So they coordinated through our office and then we went to work on it trying to coordinate helping get enough money for the match.”
“We’re very, very pleased with the partners that we have in Munising Township and all our townships, [the] U.S. Forest Service, and of course Senator Casperson, who has been very instrumental in securing road funding for Alger County the last few years,” said Doug Miron, Chairman of the Board of the Alger County Road Commission.
The highway is an important corridor that cuts due south through the Upper Peninsula.
“It’s a connector, of course, between M–28 and US–2, and Alger County relies heavily on it for timber and other recreation purposes,” said Lindbeck.
The new surface has been a pleasing sight for visitors to the area.
“I think people that ride this road, and a lot of people do — they enjoy the great outdoors up here — realize how nice it is to travel on a road that’s well–built and just nice to travel on,” said Casperson. “It helps you enjoy it rather than dodging potholes, so this is what is coming hopefully, if we can get things resolved down in Lansing and get ourselves on the right path with our roads.”
“I’m very happy, and all the people coming in the store — they’re very happy,” said Janice Whitehead, Store Manager of the Forest Glen General Store.
“The better the roads, the more people are going to come,” Miron added.
“Hopefully they’ve started something here and we’ll see more of it,” said Casperson.