MARQUETTE - On Friday Marquette city officials bought a 10-acre parcel of land needed for the extension of McClellan Avenue.
Officials, including Mayor John Kivela and City Manager Judy Akkala, handed over a $415,600 check to the property's seller, Steve Pelto, a realtor and owner of Look Property in Marquette.
The city only has one parcel left to purchase before it has all the land needed to extend McClellan from Fair Avenue to Wright Street. That property, owned by Geraldine Nault, was appraised at $5,500 by Closser Associates, Akkala said.
Akkala said Nault is going to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a fence variance on Nov. 7 and after that is resolved, Akkala will prepare a purchase agreement and bring it before the Marquette City Commission.
City officials also need to work through wetlands mitigation with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality before it can begin to design the road.
Finding funding to build the road will also be a challenge, Kivela said, adding the road will likely be constructed in 2011.
"We're going to continue on," Kivela said. "We didn't go through this whole process just to put this project on the shelf."
According to City Planner/Zoning Administrator Dennis Stachewicz Jr., the extension of McClellan has been a goal of the city since at least 1965 when it was listed in the planning commission's master plan as a major north-south connector. City officials said the city needs another north-south corridor through the city.
Much of the city's north-south traffic flow is now concentrated on only four streets: Fourth Street, Third Street, Front Street and Lincoln Avenue. The extension of McClellan as well as the extension of Seventh Street, from Washington Street to Spring Street, will provide vehicles with two additional options.