Ishpeming traffic changes planned

More traffic changes are planned for the city of Ishpeming.

City Council members heard two different plans for redirecting traffic from Second Street to Third Street last night. The Michigan Department of Transportation is working to improve safety along US-41 by building a roundabout to connect the highway to Second Street in 2016. This plan will cut off direct access to Third Street from the highway.

“We want to make sure that traffic gets routed down to third street to make that the primary driveway into the city,” said Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown.

“The project that we’re working on is actually two of the connector streets, Second and Third Street, and there are two main options that we’re looking at,” said Steve Wright of OHM Engineering. “One of the options is actually a second roundabout, which would improve safety over one of the other options.”

Both plans will require the city to acquire additional property in order to construct the necessary infrastructure, with the roundabout option requiring less acquisition. Other considerations addressed were snow plowing and overall safety of the planned connection.

No decision was made at the council meeting, but the city is hoping to get the ball rolling on the project sooner than later, so that it can be completed in conjunction with the M–DOT roundabout. The council still needs to make assessments for land purchases to determine the overall cost.

Funding for the project will come in the form of an MDOT traffic safety grant.