To the Journal editor:
I attended the meeting at the Northern Michigan University university center concerning the building of Marquette County Road 595. That would be about a 20-25 mile road from the Big Bay area to U.S.41 near Humboldt. This would be used by large mining trucks from the new mine that Rio Tinto will have ready by 2014. It could also be used for logging trucks, emergency vehicles, such as ambulance, police, rescue, etc
Plus (it would be) a road for the general public to use. There is widespread support for this road. I will name some: U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, Marquette City Sheriff's Department, Marquette City Commission, Marquette Township Board, Marquette (County) Road Commission and the list goes on. Some who were against it would be environmental groups concerned about wetlands, wildlife habitats, etc.
Now I will pose the question: Would it make sense to have maybe 100 trucks more a day to come down County Road 550, down Wright Street onto U.S. 41, through Negaunee and Ishpeming all the way to Humboldt. They already have trucks running on Wright Street, plus a high volume of other traffic. Being that I have lived on Wright since 1973, I know what's going on and how much traffic goes by my house.
Before the road was improved just a couple of years ago, it was a four-lane road (and) complete chaos. I would say in the thousands were the number of cars and trucks that went by each day.
And speed was the real problem. I was lucky not to get killed while removing snow in the winter or backing out of my driveway. With the two lanes and turning lane it's a good improvement. It has helped slow down the traffic.
So if County Road 595 was not approved and the mine trucks from Rio Tinto come this way, it will be more than chaos, it will be complete insanity. I may not even get out of my driveway.
By October, a decision will be made by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. With all the support for building County Road 595 it will also be insane on the part of the MDEQ to not approve this proposed road.