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City commission approves wetland mitigation monitoring services

TriMedia to conduct report for wetland area near hospital

MARQUETTE — After the new UP Health System-Marquette hospital was built along West Baraga Avenue and a roundabout was constructed, the city of Marquette was required to monitor the wetlands near Baraga Avenue, U.S. 41 and McClellan Avenue for five years under a Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy permit, as a culvert was constructed to convey a portion of Whetstone Brook under Hospital Drive.

The Marquette City Commission addressed the annual wetland mitigation monitoring and maintenance services during its virtual meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Fred Stonehouse made the motion to approve the professional services contract with TriMedia Environmental and Engineering for $22,750, with Mayor Pro Tem Jenn Hill seconding the motion. The commission unanimously approved the new business agenda item 7-0.

“It’s one we have to carry on for a period of five years and it has to be done,” Stonehouse said.

Whetstone Brook runs through the area in a culvert built under Hospital Drive. Stormwater runoff flows through the culvert, meaning the city is required under the permit to monitor that area for five years to make sure it is managed properly, Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli said.

“It was originally and still a requirement from (MDEGLE) … when we made plans to alter the roadways and put in roundabouts and things of that nature, it had an effect on the area and (the city of Marquette) agreed to monitor the wetlands for five years to make sure the water was alternating properly and going as planned,” Angeli said.

The MDEGLE — known as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at that time — issued a Water Resources Division permit in April 2017, as the construction of three roundabouts on U.S. 41, Baraga Avenue and Grove Street had impacts on Whetstone Brook, adjacent wetlands and floodplains, according to a city agenda document.

The construction near the hospital included the installation of a 140-foot-long by 12-foot-wide by 7-foot-high concrete arch culvert to convey Whetstone Brook under Hospital Drive, which reconfigured the existing flood control basin between U.S. 41 and Baraga Avenue, “removing and replacing all overflow piping that directs high flows into the flood control basin and placing 2,664 cubic yards of fill in 0.41 acres of wetland in order to build Hospital Drive,” the city agenda document states.

MDEGLE requires reporting on hydrology at each wetland site, documenting vegetation present at each wetland site and controlling invasive species.

The permit also requires documentation of any wildlife sightings, on-site habitat structures, potential contamination and water clarity.

TriMedia will first conduct an initial on-site meeting with the MDEGLE and the city of Marquette to review any site “deficiencies and corrective measures to meet the permit requirements,” the city agenda document states.

Vegetation, soil and hydrologic conditions of the area will be visually evaluated with permit requirements from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual and Standards and MDEGLE.

Planting of trees and shrubs will be the next step and a final report that details findings from the assessment areas will be issued at the project’s completion.

The completion date for this project is expected to be Oct. 1.

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