MDOT presents plans for road maintenance

HANCOCK — M-DOT plans to be busy in the U.P. over the next few years. Residents in the Copper County got a close look at what’s planned for their area.

As construction season gets underway, MDOT laid out their plans for road maintenance throughout the Copper Country. Those plans include bridge work on M-38, a chip seal job south of Twin Lakes, and finishing up the work on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which continues to go well now that the major work has been completed.

“You couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said MDOT Ishpeming Transportation Service Center Manager Aaron Johnson. “All the communication that we all did together to get the word out and get prepared, it paid off. These things (bridge closures) went off, you might say-literally without a hitch.”

The biggest project is slated for next year, when Quincy Street in Hancock will undergo a major reconstruction. “It’s the right fix at this time,” said Johnson. “We’ve really gotten the life expectancy out of that road. It’s time to reconstruct from the bottom on up.”

MDOT also gave a presentation on how Proposal 1 would affect any plans they may have if voters approve the sales tax increase.

“If it were to pass, it certainly, on a statewide level-and I’m talking MDOT, I’m talking counties, I’m talking municipalities-would be able to reevaluate their programs and certainly it is an influx of money,” said Johnson. “It’s a permanent increase in transportation dedicate funding.”

If it doesn’t pass, Johnson says it will be business as usual for MDOT as they do the best they can with the funds they have.