UPPER PENINSULA — Drivers traveling between L’Anse and Negaunee in the late evenings to early mornings can expect delays beginning June 3rd. Seven large generators will be transported to the new Upper Michigan Energy Resource Corp. (UMERC) generating facility in Negaunee Township, which will temporarily block traffic.
Under a permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation, UMERC and transport company Perkins STC will move the oversize loads from the CertainTeed plant in L’Anse to Eagle Mills in Negaunee Township. An unloaded transport vehicle will make return trips on alternating nights. Trips will occur until the project is completed.
The moves are planned for Sunday evenings through Thursday evenings (extending into Friday mornings) to minimize traffic impacts. No trips are planned for Friday or Saturday evenings. The moves from L’Anse to Eagle Mills are planned to start at 10:00 p.m. and finish by 5:00 a.m. Return trips are planned to start at 11:00 p.m. and be finished by 5:00 a.m.
The generators will travel down US-41 from L’Anse to Negaunee Township and then down M-35 and Marquette County Road 492 to Eagle Mills, a distance of 61.5 miles. The route will be reversed for the return trip. Trips are expected to begin on June 3rd and be completed by June 22nd.
Traffic delays will occur as the 400-by-20-foot haul rig will block two lanes as it travels along US-41 at speeds ranging from 5 mph to 25 mph. Each load will be escorted by law enforcement vehicles working in conjunction with the transport company escorts. Traffic will be stopped ahead of and behind each load. Traffic will only be allowed to pass the load in certain areas as directed by law enforcement.
Crews will be working ahead of the load to temporarily lift or remove some traffic signals and signs along the route to prevent damage. They will be replaced after the generators pass through.
The Michigan State Police will be escorting the oversize loads and assisting with traffic control during the operation. They will partner with local law enforcement should the need arise. MDOT urges motorists in the area during the generator moves to drive cautiously and heed all directions from law enforcement and road escorts.
Three other generators are planned to be moved to a new facility in Baraga County this summer. Details of traffic impacts from those operations will be released when the schedule is finalized.