August 27, 1998 (517) 335-6397

MDOT and Marquette County Road Commission Agree on Road Transfer

Rationalization of road jurisdiction to improve service to motorists

Governor John Engler announced today the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Marquette County Road Commission have agreed on transferring 30 miles of county roads to the state. The two road agencies agreed that County Roads 553, 460, 462 and a soon to be constructed County Road 460/462 connector, have regional and statewide significance and therefore have been selected for transfer. Based on these agreements, these routes will become state trunklines effective sometime prior to Oct. 1, 1998.

"A primary goal of the rationalization process is to develop a state road system that will serve as the commercial backbone of Michigan's economy," said Governor Engler.

"With MDOT having responsibility for the high-volume, commercially significant routes across Michigan, the counties and cities will be better equipped to provide the appropriate attention and resources to those local roads providing direct access to homes and property."

J. Pat Farrell, Chairman of the Marquette County Road Commission stated: "We carefully analyzed the impact that the transfer of these roads would have on the county road system and, after having received community support for the idea, decided that the transfer would be in the best interest of Marquette County."

County Road 553 is the preferred north/south route between M-35 near Gwinn and the cities of Marquette, Ishpeming and Negaunee. This route serves the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base. Local citizenry involved in redevelopment efforts at K.I. Sawyer believe that the state trunkline designation is an important step for their success. Local consensus is that regional access will be improved when the Marquette County Airport is moved to the former base in 1999.

County Roads 460 and 462, along with the proposed connector provide a major east/west route across K.I. Sawyer between US-41 and County Road 553. Included in the construction of the connector is the relocation of an at-grade railroad spur which will enhance the safety of the new route.

"I am very pleased that we were able to come to this agreement," said State Transportation Director James DeSana. "The rationalization of Michigan's highway system provides a unique opportunity for all road agencies to assess their systems and determine appropriate responsibility."

For more detailed information, please contact Gary G. Naeyaert, MDOT Communications, at 517-335-3084.