Portion of ORV Route to close for repairs

A portion of the Iron River-to-Marenisco ORV Route in Iron County will be closed starting on or after July 22 to allow for repair and reconstruction of three bridges spanning the Iron River at two locations and Sunset Creek near Iron River, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

It is anticipated that the 4.2-mile portion of route will be closed to all users until late November. During that time, the ORV route to the east and west of the project sites will remain open for use, with a temporary, marked reroute available. The 7.3-mile ORV reroute eliminates the need to cross the river and rejoins the designated route in Iron River.

The Iron River-to-Marenisco ORV Route is part of the rail-trail system, which allows for multiple uses, including bikers, hikers and motorized use. The DNR reminds ORV riders that the state highway is not available to ORV traffic, as it is illegal and dangerous to operate ORVs on state highways, including the shoulders or unmaintained right-of-way.

Barricades and signs alerting trail users that the bridges are closed will be placed on the trail west and east of the project sites. The 7.3-mile ORV reroute will be marked with signs and follows paved county roads and a city street that are open to ORV traffic. Members of local trail advocacy groups Mi-TRALE [ http://mi-trale.org?source=govdelivery ] and the Chippewa Sno-Kats [ http://www.chippewasnokats.com/?source=govdelivery ] partnered with the DNR to accomplish this reroute by purchasing and putting up the signs marking the temporary reroute.

“We would like to thank the club members, Iron County Road Commission and the city of Iron River for their partnership on this temporary reroute, which will keep the trail accessible to ORV riders for the duration of the bridge repair project,” said DNR trails analyst Rob Katona.

Riders are reminded to be cautious of other motorized vehicles while operating on the reroute, and that they must travel with the flow of traffic in a manner that does not interfere with other traffic, at a speed of no more than 25 miles per hour.

The bridge repair project is funded through almost $945,000 of federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) [http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/?source=govdelivery ] grant dollars administered by the DNR. RTP grant funds are used exclusively for recreation trail projects.

For maps and more information about the state’s ORV routes and trails, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/orvtrails [http://www.michigan.gov/orvtrails?source=govdelivery ].