MDOT: Delays to be expected

MARQUETTE — Drivers traveling in the L’Anse and Baraga area beginning Sept. 9 can expect delays.

Three large generators will be transported to the new Upper Michigan Energy Resource Corp. facility in Baraga Township, temporarily blocking traffic.

Under a permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation, UMERC and transport company Vic’s Crane & Heavy Haul Inc. will move the oversize loads from the CertainTeed plant in L’Anse to the new A.J. Mihm generating plant in Baraga Township. An unloaded transport vehicle will make return trips the following days during off-peak times.

The moves are planned for Sunday evening through Tuesday evening (extending into Wednesday morning) to minimize traffic impacts. The moves are planned to start at 10 p.m. and finish by 5 a.m. The unloaded vehicle will return to L’Anse with a police escort between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. each morning.

The generators will travel on U.S. 41 from L’Anse to Baraga and then down M-38 and Schwalm Road to Sarya Road, about 10.5 miles. The route will be reversed for the return trip. Trips are expected to begin on Sept. 9 and be completed by Sept. 12.

Traffic delays will occur as the 163-foot-long, 160-wheel haul rig blocks lanes as it travels at speeds ranging from 5 mph to 25 mph. Each load will be escorted by law enforcement vehicles working in conjunction with the transport company escorts. Traffic will be stopped ahead of and behind each load. Traffic will only be allowed to pass the load in certain areas as directed by law enforcement.

Crews will be working ahead of the load to temporarily lift or remove some traffic signals and signs along the route to prevent damage. They will be replaced after the generators pass through.

The Michigan State Police will be escorting the oversize loads and assisting with traffic control during the operation. They will partner with local law enforcement should the need arise.

MDOT urges motorists in the area during the generator moves to drive cautiously and heed all directions from law enforcement and road escorts.