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      Increased truck traffic raises safety concern

      Plans to solve Marquette County's mining truck routes from Rio Tinto Eagle Mine to the Humboldt Processing Mills are still being looked at.

      Officials with Marquette County, city, and surrounding townships are looking for possible options after a permit for County Road 595 was denied.

      Currently, mining trucks travel from County Road 550 through Wright Street west to US-41, but by this time next year, Rio Tinto will add to the truck traffic on that stretch of road.

      Continuing with the current route is raising concerns the truck traffic will be too much.

      "I believe it's 18,000 vehicles that go through that intersection a day; that doesn't include any of the Kennecott trucks," said Sara Cambensy, Marquette City Commissioner.

      So far officials are looking at two options. One is to continue using the current route, but enhancing intersections like Sugarloaf and Wright Street to make it safer for pedestrians and the flow of traffic.

      "Anything that would be south or eastbound vehicles would have to use an existing truck route. I think McClellan Avenue is the designated north-south truck route, so you are splitting the traffic so that it's not all coming into one pressure point," said Dennis Liimatta, Marquette Township Supervisor.

      The other idea is to have the trucks travel through Country Road 510 to Midway in Negaunee and out to US-41.

      Some residents don't agree with the current ideas.

      "To come through the city of Marquette and the township and the high traffic is just insane. I just can't believe that," said William Maki, resident.

      They are still looking for more options that would not only resolve the heavy truck traffic, but also one that would allow for future growth.