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MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Marquette Mayor Johnny DePetro, Commissioner Fred Stonehouse and Manager Bill Vajda joined Great Lakes Radio News Director Walt Lindala today for an exclusive conversation about the County Road 595 project and the impact on truck routes in the city.
The conversation came after a special commission meeting held yesterday in Marquette to explore options for the city after the recent discontinuing of the C.R. 595 project in western Marquette County.
The city must now contend with up to 100 runs a day by mine haul trucks traveling to and from the Kennecott Eagle Mine to Humboldt Township via C.R. 550 to Sugarloaf Avenue and Wright Street. The runs are expected to begin next year.
According to Mayor Johnny DePetro, this new traffic will increase congestion and wear on the city’s roadways as well as decrease safety for motorists. DePetro added that the affected roads are not designed for this level of use and would need millions of dollars in reinforcement work.
Commissioner Fred Stonehouse said in order for this to be done, the city would have to redirect money from other scheduled roadway construction projects and that is not in the interest of the city.
City Manager Bill Vajda said the commission instructed him to hire an outside attorney to research the creation of a public and private bypass for truck traffic.
Vajda said plans also include the updating the current city truck routes and a revision of the city’s current truck traffic ordinance.
Vajda also discussed why the commission chose to hire an outside attorney for this project and not use the current city attorney, Ron Keefe.