US 41 project to begin

New roundabouts in Marquette area

MARQUETTE — Construction on a $10.9 million U.S. 41 project in Marquette Township that will include adding two roundabouts is slated to begin Monday.

Al Anderson, the Michigan Department of Transportation construction engineer on the project, said at a recent pre-construction meeting in Marquette Township that $8.5 million is earmarked for rebuilding and extending the existing boulevard roadway of U.S. 41 between Marquette County Road 492 to just west of Brickyard Road.

Two signalized intersections at those junctions will be replaced with roundabouts.

In addition, the westbound lanes of U.S. 41 will be moved north to provide space for the divided highway, along with adding indirect left-turn lanes.

The remaining $2.4 million will be used to construct a new multi-use tunnel beneath the highway just west of County Road 492, Anderson said.

The overall project will be broken into 10 phases, Anderson explained, with an expected final completion date of June 2020.

The roundabouts are slated to be open by late October, he said.

“We’ll have the tunnel, the two roundabouts and the pavement for the boulevard completed this year,” Anderson said. “And next year we will do a lot of the work in the medians and the divided islands.”

Lane closures, traffic shifts and temporary traffic signals during construction will cause traffic delays, he said. Drivers also will need to be aware of temporary changes in accessing businesses via temporary drives or local road detours as the project progresses, Anderson said.

MDOT Ishpeming Transportation Center Manager Rob Tervo said communication is key, especially considering the corridor represents one of the busiest commercial areas in the Upper Peninsula.

“The project is going to be a challenging one. There are going to be many stages; traffic is going to be changing and have to take different routes along the way. The final project is going to be super worth it,” Tervo said. “It’s going to have great safety and mobility benefits for years to come, in addition to the non-motorized trail and the tunnel and the connections that that makes.”

Tervo said motorists can stay informed about changes in traffic patterns and other elements of the project by signing up for email alerts on the web at www.public.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDOT/subscriber/new, or check for updates on the MDOT MiDrive website at www.michigan.gov/drive.

“We are asking the public to be patient, to plan ahead, be informed about what is happening, and just pay attention when you are going through that work zone,” he said. “There are a lot of things going on, just like any other work zone.”

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500 or lbowers@miningjournal.net.

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