MARQUETTE - The impending completion of Marquette's roundabout was celebrated Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The final lane of the roundabout - the southbound lane coming from downtown Marquette -has yet to open to traffic. Michigan Department of Transportation officials said that lane is likely to open on Friday.
"When the original intersection was designed the primary traffic flow was going downtown. But now we have more traffic on U.S. 41 that's just driving through Marquette and traveling to Marquette Township. What this does is give all those different traffic streams an equal chance to enter the intersection without having to use signalization," said Andy Sikkema, manager of MDOT's Transportation Service Center in Ishpeming.
Marquette’s roundabout is almost completely open. The southbound lane coming from downtown Marquette will likely open on Friday, according to Michigan Department of Transportation officials.
A group of people, including Marquette city officials and MDOT officials, cut the ribbon on the roundabout project. (Journal photos by Christopher Diem)
He said there have been no accidents reported yet from the roundabout.
Marquette Mayor John Kivela said although there will be a learning curve with many motorists in navigating the roundabout, it is a drastic improvement over the previous configuration.
"Just a minute ago, we had one of those lumber trucks with a double pup on the back. It just cruised right around and through. All of these people who are wondering is it big enough, can you get a firetruck on it? Yes, you can," he said.
The $1.3 million Michigan Department of Transportation project started in May.
Christopher Diem can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.