72
      Thursday
      82 / 61
      Friday
      84 / 60
      Saturday
      85 / 62

      How Escanaba deals with truck traffic

      With production starting in a year at the new Lundin mine in northern Marquette County, many Marquette residents are concerned about the increase in truck traffic through the city. For Facebook Friday, we take a look at other U.P. cities and how they're managing truck traffic.

      Escanaba is one city that has its truck traffic well under control. In 1999, they introduced truck routes.

      Semi trucks can weigh up to 40 tons with a full trailer, and logging trucks over 70 tons. Escanaba's city ordinance on truck traffic prohibits anything heavier than 13 tons from deviating from the truck routes, which are designed to accommodate heavier traffic. Roads pay the price when these large vehicles drive through.

      "It will damage the roads. It's not as bad as people are making it out to be. In heavier areas, if there is a lot of truck traffic in that particular area, it can damage the roads, especially if making turns," said Scott Chartier of A.M. Express in Escanaba. Chartier is a former truck driver.

      Road maintenance is the main motivator for the city's truck routes, but not everyone is a fan.

      On Facebook, Perry Chapman says, "Truck routes make life harder for most drivers and add miles which means more fuel being used. Most of the time, truck routes are useless."

      But in Escanaba, officials say the truck routes are better for the city.

      "We don't have any issue with the flow of heavy trucks, trucks and trailers, tractor trailers through the City of Escanaba...It's proven to be effective and it's not something I've had to deal with, so it must be successful," said Kenneth Vanderlinden, Escanaba Director of Public Safety, who has held his post for three years.

      Truck drivers say that Escanaba is easier to navigate than most other cities because of multiple lanes and flatter terrain, and that truck routes are universally beneficial.

      "Anything they can do to make it easier to get the truck in and out of there makes everybody's life a lot better," Chartier said.

      Outside of road maintenance, many on Facebook also expressed concerns over the noise issues that come with truck traffic if the routes are near residential areas.