Kennecott Woodland Road Back on the Table

Another surprise move from Kennecott Eagle Minerals.

The company recently said it decided to abandon its plans for Marquette County Road 595, also called Woodland Road.

Now, the more than 20-mile-long road project is not dead.

Last month, the company said it would drop the Woodland Road idea and work on improvements to existing roads instead.

But last week, the Marquette County Road Commission asked Kennecott to reconsider.

Community and government relations director Matt Johnson says Kennecott has responded to that request, saying it’ll keep the permit process going after all.

However, he says the company cannot commit at the moment to paying for the construction costs of 595 should the permits be approved.

That’s a change from 2009, when the project first became public knowledge.

Kennecott said at that time it would pay for the construction.

595 can’t be completed until after the Eagle Mine starts production.

And Kennecott will need a truck route before that.

So Johnson says it’ll still make the improvements to existing roads that it said a few weeks ago it would make — to Wright Street in Marquette as well as County Roads 510 and 550 — while 595 goes through the permit process.

He says Kennecott wants to know what residents want to see on those roads to make them safer.

Kennecott says it already has 5 years and $8 million invested in County Road 595.

The Eagle Mine is slated to begin production in 2013.