Ishpeming City Council approves roundabout plans to connect Second and Third Streets

A new roundabout for the City of Ishpeming took another step forward.

The City Council approved the plan for a roundabout to connect Second and Third Streets at its meeting Wednesday night.

MDOT is constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Second Street and U.S. 41, leaving Third Street closed off to the highway.  Because of the closure, there needs to be a way for traffic to get from Third Street over to Second.

The council had another option, an ‘S’ curve, but decided the roundabout is a safer option.

“Basically, (the roundabout) will use less space, require less property, it’ll slow traffic down, which is a good thing since both Second and Third Streets are in residential neighborhoods,” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said.  “It’ll make it easier for people to navigate into the Ski Hall of Fame, and it’s more likely to receive grant funding from the state.”

“Because people will be going 30-35 (mph)–and that’s being real polite in speeds, I bet it would be a lot more than that (with an ‘S’ curve design).  You’d come into that at almost a 90 degree turn, you’re going to be sliding sideways with people going faster than they should be,” Ishpeming Mayor Mike Tall said.  “I really and truly–like I said no one dislikes roundabouts anymore than me–but that’s the safest, and that’s the safest way to do it.”

The roundabout will not be constructed until 2016, but the city will have to apply for grants to fund the project, which will cost about $490,000.  The city also needs to purchase a parcel of property, which lies on the construction path.