MARQUETTE - It's becoming a little easier to get around Marquette.
The reopening of Champion Street and a traffic shift through Marquette's roundabout at the U.S. 41 bypass/Front Street intersection are giving drivers more options to get through the city.
The $975,000 Champion Street reconstruction project finished last month and the street opened back up to normal traffic on June 28.
The recent reopening of Champion Street, above, and a traffic shift through the roundabout at the U.S. 41 bypass/Front Street intersection, right, are giving drivers more options to get through the city. The Champion Street project opened back up to normal traffic on June 28. Traffic shifted through part of the roundabout earlier this week. (Journal photos by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
"That will definitely alleviate some of the traffic congestion, right now there's a lot of congestion on Lakeshore (Boulevard) and that will help that situation," said City Engineer Keith Whittington. The federal government paid the cost of part of the project in the form of a $465,000 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
People got their first experience with Marquette's roundabout earlier this week when traffic was shifted to go through it. According to officials with the Michigan Department of Transportation, traffic coming from the south on U.S. 41 and turning west onto the bypass has been routed through a portion of the roundabout. The route for eastbound traffic on U.S. 41 turning south has not changed.
Front Street is proposed to remain closed until mid-August. The project is anticipated to be finished in late August.
The $1.1 million project started in May. MDOT officials have said the previous intersection was confusing and if unaltered would lead to extensive traffic backups in the the future. They said a roundabout is safer and would keep traffic flowing.
Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org