Marquette County Road Commission officials gave an update today on issues related to mining truck traffic in the area.
Two Road Commission representatives spoke with U.P. members of the Michigan State Employee Retirees Association. Several road projects will take place on Marquette County Road 550 this summer to help the road accommodate truck traffic to and from the Eagle Mine.
“We’re going to be replacing all the existing bridges that are on County Road 550,and we’re also going to be doing a realignment between the Garlic Bridges,” Road Commission engineer/manager Jim Iwanicki said. “Additionally, on County Road 550 we’ll be adding a northbound passing lane and two southbound passing lanes.”
The proposed County Road 595 to connect the Eagle Mine with US-41 in Humboldt fell through in early 2013. Road Commission officials feel the EPA continuously added new hurdles to the permitting process until the time frame to get the road approved ran out.
“It was a very difficult situation,” Road Commission chair Dave Hall said. “I referred to it during my little chat here today (by making reference to) the TV show ‘Mission: Impossible’, and that’s exactly what it felt like when we were pursuing 595. What’s really interesting for me personally is how the state politicians, both sides of the aisle, supported it.”
The Road Commission will also be working on County Road 510 this year, as well as paving County Road AAA so that trucks can use it year-round. The surface facilities for the Eagle Mine are located on County Road AAA.