With short summers that are often wedged between late-arriving springs and early winters, road construction crews have to scramble to get their projects done on time.
This summer has certainly seen its fair share of roadwork as well, including two long-awaited projects that are actually coming in ahead of schedule.
One involves the extension of McClellan Avenue from Fair Avenue to Wright Street within the city of Marquette.
A project that has been under consideration for many years, the extension is desirable as a major north-south corridor through town that can help alleviate heavy traffic on some other north-south routes.
Scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, the work is about 95 percent complete and officials expect the roadway to be open to traffic within a few weeks.
City Engineer Keith Whittington said the main thing left to be done is get the traffic signals installed and operational.
In addition, Jim Perry, vice president of Oberstar Inc. of Marquette, the general contractor, said a few projects that remain to be done are painting of lines on the street and some sodding work along the sides of the roadway.
He said the project got off to a great start with an early spring and pleasant weather this summer, which allowed the company to fast-track the work.
Those same weather conditions have helped another major road project move along at a good pace, a project very familiar to motorists traveling between Marquette and Chocolay Township.
This project involves reconstruction of U.S. 41 from the Carp River to M-28 in Harvey, which is the one of the busiest sections of highway in the Marquette area.
From the river to Bayou Road, just past the Michigan Department Transportation welcome center, all five lanes of the highway are being completely reconstructed, including having a new profile, the curbing removed and replaced with shoulders and a new drainage system.
The project also involves milling and repaving the five traffic lanes from Bayou Road through Harvey to M-28.
Half the reconstructed roadway from the Carp River to Bayou Road opened to traffic this week, with work crews shifting to the other side.
This project is also scheduled to be completed by the end of October, with officials saying there shouldn't be a problem meeting that deadline.
Both these projects will make traveling around the Marquette area easier and safer for motorists, which are welcomed results.