Roundabout letter of support sent to MDOT

The Ishpeming City Council approved sending a letter of support to the Michigan Department of Transportation for the future roundabout at U.S. 41 and Second Street.

An additional part of the project, a Second and Third Street connector, will be a major project for the city.  By sending a letter of support, it allows Ishpeming to start finding ways to fund their portion of the construction, and start making bids for surveyors and engineers.

“I think the city has a stake in this project and really needs to focus on getting our connector between Second and Third Streets done,” Ishpeming’s Interim City Manager Jon Kangas said.

“Supporting the roundabout project will go a long way towards helping us find some funding for our portion of the project.”

Kangas said Ishpeming’s roundabout is different than the one in Marquette, because it is designed for safety, not logistics.

“These roundabouts always tend to be controversial projects, I think there’s apprehension–even at this (city council) table still–or even dislike for roundabouts,” Kangas said.  “I personally love them, and I’ll go on record and say that–in certain instances.”

“They’re looking at it (the roundabout) for safety improvements, not for geometry improvements.  The Marquette project was a geometry improvement.  We know the project is coming, with or without the city on board.”

In the letter of support, the city council added a stipulation that a pedestrian controlled signal be installed for the safety of pedestrians crossing the street.  The roundabout will not be built until 2016.