ISHPEMING - Construction began this week on Phase One the Partridge Creek diversion project in Ishpeming and is expected to continue throughout the summer.
Crews from Oberstar Inc. began working preliminary drilling at both ends of Phase One - Seventh Street on the east and Main Street and Cleveland Avenue in the west - with emphasis on the western end of the project.
The diversion project is required to reroute the creek from its current path through mine workings under the city into the city's storm sewer system, which is in need of repair to handle the extra water. The creek is believed to be picking up mercury in the mine workings, which is eventually making its way to Deer Lake. Deer Lake is identified as an Area of Concern by the state of Michigan due to mercury contamination and is required to be cleaned up by the state.
Work on Ishpeming’s Partridge Creek diversion project began this week, with construction on the project allowing the creek water to be diverted into the city’s storm sewer to avoid mercury contamination. Crews began drilling at the intersection of Main Street and Cleveland Avenue, shown at left. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
The $8 million project, which is being funded mainly through grant funding, has $2.7 million allocated to complete Phase One, which repairs the storm sewer through the majority of the downtown area.
This phase is expected to be completed in early September, with the contractor working to limit the amount of streets that are closed and businesses that are affected.
Currently, Cleveland Avenue from Second Street to Main Street is closed to through traffic for work on the project, with the closure to remain in effect until the end of June.
The project includes dismantling parts of streets through the downtown to access the storm sewer, as well as replacing and repairing some of the underground utilities. Full street reconstruction is scheduled along the storm sewer route, which runs down Third Street from near the intersection with the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, west on Cleveland to Bank Street and then south on Lake Street and farther west on Division Street.
"We're really trying to be thoughtful about impacting residents and businesses," City Manager Jered Ottenwess said.
He said the construction of Phase One will not affect various events held on Main Street, including the Fourth of July Parade, the Cruisin' Car Show and other celebrations.
Phase Two of the project, which the city is still trying to secure funding for, will include open channels, similar to the the way Carp Creek runs north along the west side of the city.
More detailed information about the project is available online at www.ishpemingcity.org or in pamphlets available at the Ishpeming City Hall.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is email@example.com.