U.S. 41 Corridor Improvements

Marquette Township Board Meeting 01262016

Members of the five groups that met to discuss US 41 corridor improvements in Marquette Township.

Marquette, MIJanuary 29, 2016 –  The Charter Township of Marquette held a joint meeting with the township’s Recreation Committee, the township’s Road Committee, and the township’s DDA, along with M-DOT and Marquette Board of Light and Power (BLP).

The focus was to discuss potential considerations related to the 2.7 miles of U.S. 41/M-28 improvements slated for 2019. In a nutshell, 2.7 miles of township highway from border to border (from Pizza Hut to the old Powersports), will have improvements.

This stretch of highway is the number one traffic corridor in the entire U.P., and improvements will benefit the community. The idea of involving these five groups is to help coordinate efforts in the same direction so we see improvements on a common timeline until construction in 2019 and 2021.

This effort should help local township businesses as well with improved lighting and access as part of the DDA expansion providing better side lighting, moving utilities underground, and beautifying the 2.7 miles.

The BLP said they have capacity for additional lighting and will work with Township Planner Jason McCarthy and a consultant on some design options.

A local M-DOT representative was present and voiced support and excitement for the 2019 project. Lighting will need to be on the side at least 30 feet from the white line. Those 30-foot setbacks are outside the BLP’s normal setbacks so proper design would be looked for before opening trenches and burying utilities.

The group passed a motion to start with an initial concept drawings from Brinker-Hoff including poles, standoffs, fixtures, how far the lighting would go, all scaled accordingly with a roughed out price per mile, so these five groups and the township board could enter the 2019 project prepared.

This corridor is the township’s front porch and this group is wrestling with how to make it look better since it isn’t easy to back-plan. Jason McCarthy is familiar with LED modern lighting and reviewing hte photometrics of the fixtures and putting together zero maintenance medians with salt resilient plants and shrubs, and other options such as gravel or ripwrap.

Also, the Recreation Committee has been working on a safe crossing since 2009, wrote a trust fund grant in 2010 to acquire property to connect trails, has written four grants with Jason since, and has helped Marquette Township with a complete streets ordinance. This work would culminate in a true underpass near Menards for snowmobiles in the winter and bikes in the summer.

Two members from each of the groups will sit on a subcommittee to keep the ball rolling, developing concept drawings, creating estimates per mile, and facilitating a coordinated plan so that township residents and businesses are best served. Business owners can stay up to date on these details by joining the Marquette Township Business Association during their noon luncheon meetings at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery on the third Tuesday of each month.

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