A New Bridge in Houghton County Likely Requires Local, State, and Federal Cooperation

Copper Country officials are serious about a new bridge to link Houghton to Hancock. The Keweenaw Report recently spoke openly with two Houghton County commissioners about why they think the area needs a second bridge during a copper country today podcast.

Commissioners Tom Tikkanen and Glen Anderson said the need to expand cross the Keweenaw Waterway is serious.

They said local officials need to work together. Then the county needs the support of state representatives who can help move the project forward.

The two want to form a steering committee for the project. That committee will be made up of the two commissioners, city managers from local municipalities, MDOT’s Rob Tervo, and Vince Bevins, and two MTU professors, Tess Ahlborn and Stanley Vitton.

They say expansion in area population, increasing tourism, and the need for alternative routes for emergency vehicles are all very good reasons for a serious discussion on the issue.

One way to get funding for the project would be to connect two federal or state highways. Like connecting US-41 to M-26.

The other hurdle for the bridge is, where could they put it?  The majority of the land on either side of the portage canal is either not owned by the county, or has already been developed.

State Representative Greg Markkanen and Senator Ed McBroom have said they support the idea.