While the upgrades to CR550 are underway, an entirely new section of road is being constructed from the mine gate to the Champion Twp-Michigamme Twp line (roughly where 595 would have ended). While the first changes to Triple A develop, the existing Triple A road will remain open and then the old section will be “obliterated” sometime afterwards. The Triple A project is being paid for by the state and Lundin Mining Corp. will pay a matching portion. Basically state dollars (your dollars) are being used to straighten a section of county road for the mine. The “improvements” to the Triple A will probably take place within a 100-ft right-of-way. This means that the road can be cleared by up to 50ft on either side of the center line. Also, the funds for the current CR550 upgrades, which were to be paid for by Lundin, are now being ‘held’ and are considered ‘matching funds’ which will be used only if necessary. Basically, Lundin will only pay for the current upgrades to CR550 if the Marquette County Road Commission needs them to finish the project.
There is more buzz about other truck routes and other portions to truck routes as well, as you may have seen in the local paper. Marquette Township Manager, Randy Girard, has stated publicly that the township is looking at every possible option for dealing with increased truck traffic in Marquette due to the Eagle Mine, including constructing 595. If a party were to pursue the construction of CR595, a mining haul road through the northern highlands, the permit would have to go through the Army Corps of Engineers at a price between $100,000 to $500,000, a costly process for which funding has not been found at this point. Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve will continue to monitor the situation closely and encourages attendance at all of the upcoming public hearings. Please ask all of the questions you have, and thanks in advance for your persistance. Here are a few public meetings coming up rapidly:
Citizen Action/Public Hearing Notice:
The Marquette County Road Commission will hold a public information meeting on construction improvements to County Road 550 from Harlow Creek northerly 3.1 miles as a part of the scheduled board meeting on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Powell Township Hall, 101 Bensinger, Big Bay, MI 49808. With a public hearing held at 6:30 p.m.
Work included in this project consists of milling and resurfacing the existing asphalt or crushing the existing asphalt in place, regrading the material and repaving the area.
Any questions or concerns related to the above project should be directed to the Marquette County Road Commission, 1610 North Second Street, Ishpeming, MI 49849 or via phone (906) 486-4491.
Another Citizen Action/Public Hearing Notice:
A Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. as a part of a 6:00 p.m. Special Meeting of the Marquette County Road Commission Meeting held at the Powell Township Hall. Please refer to this link for further detail. The Road Commission is proposing upgrading CR 510 between CR 550 and CR KAA (Triple A). and CR KAA and CR AAA (Triple A) from CR 510 to the Michigamme/Champion Township line. The Road Commission is anticipating needing right of way for both projects. It is anticipated that construction of these projects will be started in October of 2013.