For several years, the intersections of Second Street and Third Street in Ishpeming at US-41 have shown up on the statewide High Crash Report as a location inherently prone to accidents.
The city and the Michigan Department of Transportation will be hosting an open house at the Ishpeming Senior Center tonight at 7 p.m. to discuss a construction plan that would install a roundabout at US-41 and Second Street in 2016 in an attempt to reduce the combined 71 crashes over the past five years.
MDOT will present the details of the plan to the public and make themselves available to answer any questions about the project.
There have been some concerns about the $2 million price tag, but MDOT and city officials point out that the project would not affect taxes and, more importantly, would save lives.
“It’s all coming from state funding, and I think people are against it. They don’t understand it, and what we don’t understand, we fear,” Ishpeming City Council member Elaine Racine said. “The bottom line is, it’s going to save lives. That’s the main thing. I thought, when Marquette was going to put their roundabout in (back in 2010), it was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard, and I absolutely love it, and now I understand why they put them in everywhere.”
The proposal would divide a portion of US-41 between Second and Third with a median, creating two separate lanes that would not allow drivers to turn left onto Third Street from the highway.
Also, in order to provide businesses in the area with the same flow of traffic, MDOT would build a paved road connecting Second and Third on the south side of the adjacent railroad tracks.