Additional care, caution needed when driving in Marquette

Pay attention. That simple admonition might be the best advice that could be given to motorists in and around the city of Marquette in the coming weeks and months.

That’s because there have been and will be a large number of changes in traffic signals and intersections all over town, the changes coming from a series of recommendations from consultants Johnson Controls, which conducted an in-depth study.

“Part of that study was to evaluate whether or not the traffic signals (in some locations) were warranted or not and it also evaluated high-crash intersections to see if there was some type of signal that was warranted,” said Marquette City Police Chief Blake Rieboldt, for a recent Mining Journal on the matter.

Many of the city’s traffic lights are being replaced with updated models that will have adjustable timing. In several locations, traffic control signals are being added, removed, or modified.

But that’s just for openers. Other changes include removing traffic lights at intersections and replacing them with stop signs. That’s what happened at North Front Street and East Hewitt Avenue. On the other hand, the busy West Ridge Street and North McClellan Avenue intersection will see the installation of a traffic light.

New lights will be controllable through computer, giving city officials flexibility at any given point.

“It’s really exciting to be able to have the technology to actually adjust and modify (the timing of the lights) once we start determining problem areas,” Rieboldt said.

Look for the upgrades to be wrapped up by winter, after which time, all of this will have become familiar and second nature.

In the meantime, however, pay attention.