MARQUETTE - The roundabout in Marquette is nearing completion and is mostly open to traffic.
Aside from the southbound traffic lane coming from downtown Marquette, all lanes of the roundabout are open, according to Andy Sikkema, manager of Michigan Department of Transportation's Transportation Service Center in Ishpeming.
He said the roundabout will be completely open in about two weeks.
Marquette’s roundabout is almost completely open. Aside from the southbound traffic lane coming from downtown Marquette, all lanes of the roundabout are open to traffic. (Journal photo by Danielle Lehto)
"We do monitor it on a daily basis and it looks like people have adjusted to it fairly well," Sikkema said. "People are probably going around and not using the roundabout. But it is open so people coming from the south on U.S. 41 can go into downtown Marquette."
The $1.1 million project was 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 will keep traffic flowing.
Sikkema said the roundabout will function fine in winter, as well. He said two agencies will be responsible for maintenance and snow removal at the intersection, a concern of many people when the roundabout was discussed during presentations to the public.
"The city of Marquette owns the approach coming from south Front Street, so they will have to maintain some of the ramps. The majority of the maintenance will be done by the Marquette County Road Commission and we've met with both those agencies jointly so that they can work out the plans on how they're going to maintain the roundabout," Sikkema said. "This is not uncommon to have roundabouts in high snow areas whether in Europe or in Colorado or other locations in Canada."
To see still photographs of the roundabout captured by a MDOT webcam, go to mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive.
Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org