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City to vote on safe routes contract

October 8, 2012
By KYLE WHITNEY - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The Marquette City Commission on Tuesday night will make decisions on the approval of two Michigan Department of Transportation contracts tied to grant funds.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the commission chambers of city hall.

First, the commission will vote on whether to authorize a contract with MDOT, related to a Safe Routes to School grant that would facilitate the construction of sidewalks in south Marquette.

Article Photos

The city commission tonight will vote on whether to approve a contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation, related to the Safe Routes to School project in south Marquette. Under the plan, new sidewalks would run along Mesnard Street, from Tierney Street to the intersection with Altamont Street, seen here. (Journal photo by Kyle Whitney)

The Safe Routes to School project - which would provide students a walking path leading to Bothwell Middle School - includes installing sidewalks and crosswalks and implementing several school-based programs.

The planned sidewalks would run along the south side of Mesnard Street, between Tierney and Altamont streets, and from there north along the west side of Altamont for slightly more than a block.

City staff have said the hope is that Marquette can eventually extend that sidewalk north toward Fisher Street. Currently, there are no sidewalks along that part of Altamont.

The grant includes almost $175,000 for infrastructure work and $6,500 for educational and safety materials, as well some walking- and biking-related programming.

Sidewalks in the area leading to Bothwell will allow Marquette Area Public Schools administrators to breathe a bit easier, according to MAPS Superintendent Deb Veiht.

"It's a pretty hilly area getting into Bothwell," she said. "There's bus routes and many, many cars going that way and we just want to make sure it's safe for the kids."

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2013.

The group will also vote on the authorization of a second contract with MDOT, this one to allow for the reconstruction of East Washington Street, from Front Street to Lakeshore Boulevard.

For the reconstruction, the city will receive a $375,000 grant from MDOT, which will be matched by about $68,000 from city coffers.

In other action, the commission will receive a recommendation to award the task of conducting a public planning process related to a new playground at Presque Isle Park to Ishpeming's U.P. Engineers and Architects.

The city would pay the group an amount not to exceed $7,750 - the Friends of Presque Isle group has fundraised $8,000 to develop the plan - in exchange for a plan for an "inclusive playground that fits into the natural and cultural landscape of the park," according to the city.

The city commission will also decide whether to approve a planned unit development agreement with Marquette's Veridea Group for the proposed development at 857 W. Washington St.

The two MDOT contracts and the PUD agreement are included in the commission's consent agenda.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.



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