Trail talk

Connector route to proposed highway underpass on agenda

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Township Board will consider during its meeting Tuesday a Noquemanon Trail Network request to develop a connector trail from Lost Creek via Schwemwood Park to the proposed U.S. 41 underpass.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Marquette Township Community Center, 1000 Commerce Drive.

The NTN would pay the estimated $22,000 cost of construction for the proposed half-mile trail, which would be open to all non-motorized use, according to an Aug. 30 memo to board members from Marquette Township Planning and Zoning Administrator Jason McCarthy.

The NTN will also assume regular maintenance of the 27-inch-wide connector trail, including tread repair and tree removal, the memo states.

“Planning Department staff continues to explore options for expanding our non-motorized trail connectivity for residents and visitors,” McCarthy wrote. “We also try and identify opportunities that will assist our business community with providing alternative options to patron their business. Staff believes this is a good opportunity to do both; by having a non-exclusive trail connection through Schwemwood Park to the underpass and beyond.”

The trail, if constructed, would begin near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Lost Creek Drive traversing west behind Goodwill, Walmart and the AT&T building to the the trail leading north to the proposed underpass, according to a map provided with the memo.

A 10-foot-wide shared-use pathway from the Iron Ore Heritage Trail to Marquette County Road 492 and the multiuse tunnel under U.S. 41 are part of a $2.5 million project slated for 2019. It would connect the south NTN trails to the Little Presque Isle public trail system, and also would serve as a snowmobile crossing Dec. 1 to April 1.

The underpass will be built in conjunction with a $6.7 million Michigan Department of Transportation project to reconstruct the U.S. 41 corridor between Marquette County Road 492 and Brickyard Road, replacing the highway’s two signalized intersections at Brickyard Road and County Road 492, near Target and Walmart, with roundabouts.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is lbowers@miningjournal.net.