Construction starts on water quality improvement project

ISHPEMING — Navigating through Marquette County has been a little tricky this summer as a plethora of construction projects have taken over the roadways. And now another construction project is slated to start in one local municipality in an attempt to fix the city’s water quality issue.

Cliff Street in the City of Ishpeming is the first area of a $12 million project to undergo construction. This is just one of several mini-projects of an even bigger effort to resolve water quality issues, modernize infrastructure and upgrade streets and sewage within the city. With 45 miles of water main in the city, the project will only fix a third of the city’s issues if all goes according to plan. A thorough engineering evaluation of pipe and street conditions was done to determine the highest-need areas.

“This one project, even as big as it is, isn’t going to solve all of the city’s problems,” said Ishpeming City Manager, Mark Sloan. “This was about as big as we could swallow. It’s really going to stress everybody from the residents and the disruption of their streets to the staff. It’s a big project, but it needs to be done. We don’t want people to have bad water quality or have people have their water shut off because a pipe burst in the winter.”

Work on Cliff Street has already started as crews have dug up areas to de-water due to the close vicinity of Lake Bancroft. This allows workers to pump water out in order to have a dry area to work. The project will span of two years and the city will keep residents updated as they start on new areas. Sloan said this was just the first of many projects aimed at improving the city.