Improvements are in place on Marquette County Road 550

Motorists and cyclists may have noticed some differences along Marquette County Road 550 up through Eagles Nest Road this weekend.

Several entities recently came together to improve traffic along the corridor by widening the bicycle lanes from Sugarloaf to Eagles Nest Road. Three deceleration lanes were also added at the entrances to Sugarloaf Mountain, Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle.

“We relocated two approach roads so that they align with the approaches directly across County Road 550,” Paul Dumonthier, Marquette County Road Commission project manager for the improvements, said. “One of them is at Harlow Lake, and that is directly across from Presque Isle, and the second is at Beagle Club Road, and that is across from Wetmore Pond. We’re going to reconstruct the parking lot at Sugarloaf Mountain and that consists of crushing the existing bit, bituminous, and repaving and placing pavement markings in that area.”

One hope is that the improvements will make the road more attractive to outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the various scenic sites Marquette County has to offer. Safety was also a major motivator for the overhaul.

“The overreaching goal, always, is to increase safety; but to provide safe access to our recreation destinations, of which, some of the most picturesque are up in that stretch of roadway,” Marquette Township planning and zoning administrator Jason McCarthy said.

The Marquette County Road Commission will also be placing new signage near the entrances in the corridor. The signs, which are intended to raise awareness for each location, were designed and donated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Marquette Township, the Marquette County Planning Department and the Lundin Mining Corporation were also involved in the renovation process.