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      Improvements being made to County Road 550

      Marquette Township along with other agencies have made and is still making some much needed improvements along County Road 550.

      If you"ve ever wanted a wider shoulder and deceleration lanes on County Road 550 to simplify getting to places like Wetmore Landing, Sugar Loaf Mountain or Little Presque Isle, your wishes have finally been granted.

      And that's just for starters.

      The Marquette County Planning Department and Marquette County Road Commission are also planning to extend a bike route connecting Sugarloaf Mountain and the City to Eagles Nest Road, and also resurface and stripe the Sugarloaf Mountain parking lot.

      Officials say that multiple agencies assessed the road's situation and ultimately decided it was time to make some changes.

      "County Road 550's been a fairly narrow corridor. And with increased traffic and users... That being both truck traffic, vehicular traffic and bicycle traffic, there was just some requirement for some additional right of way width in order to accommodate all those users." said Marquette Township Zoning Administrator Jason McCarthy.

      The agencies also cooperated with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to design a plan that would both agree with state standards and make recreational access as easy and efficient as possible for residents and tourists.

      "We thought it was a great opportunity to look at the recreation in the area and say, 'Hey, this is a huge use in the area and a huge value to the area'. So if you implemented these recommendations and suggestions, everybody would have safer access to recreation." said Michigan DNR Regional Planner Eric Cadeau.

      The roadway and deceleration lanes are already complete. The Sugarloaf parking lot resurfacing and striping is set to begin this summer. And Marquette County Planning will formally request the bike path expansion from the County Road Commission this week.