By LISA M. REED
IRON MOUNTAIN - As part of routine maintenance on traffic signals, the Michigan Department of Transportation is also updating the curbs at 14 intersections throughout the southern Upper Peninsula.
Pictured from left, Mike Marrow, Josh Eckhardt, Juan Canchola and Kevin Dittenber of Diversified Power put in a control cabinet and electric for MDOT’s signal upgrade project at the North Junction.
Mike Premo, manager of Transportation Service Center in Crystal Falls, said sidewalks are being upgraded as part of the traffic signal project.
"We have to make the traffic signals ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant," Premo said. "If we disturb the sidewalk, then we need to make them ADA compliant."
Upgrades to the sidewalk include wider walkways, ADA ramps for wheelchairs and warnings for the blind.
Premo said the traditional signal design, which is located in the middle of an intersection, is being replaced by the box span design. This type of design has signals located at each corner of the intersection.
This increases safety for maintenance workers, are easier for drivers to see and work the same way.
Intersections in Dickinson County undergoing the transformation are: U.S. 2 and H Street in Iron Mountain, U.S. 2 and Ridgeview in Iron Mountain, M-95 and Nelson Drive in Kingsford, U.S. 2 and M-95 (North Junction) updating signal, no sidewalk, M-95 and Woodward Avenue, and M-95 and Breitung Avenue.
In Norway, MDOT is upgrading sidewalk ramps and resurfacing U.S. 2 in the city of Norway from C Street to west of 5th Avenue.
This project will require intermittent lane closures with traffic shifts. One lane of U.S. 2 will remain open in each direction at all times.
In Iron County, there is one intersection that is having its traffic signal upgraded. That is the overhead flashing light at U.S. 2 and Bates-Amasa Road.
The MDOT project has two different contractors working throughout the southern U.P.
Intersections in Gogebic and Delta County are also under construction.
Total cost of the project for all 14 intersections is $1.5 million, which is being funded by MDOT.
Road construction projects in Iron Mountain this year include Blaine Street from Aragon Street to South Grant Street, Deveraux Street from Blaine Street to Stanton Street, East D Street from Van Buren Street to Park Street, East E Street from Park Street to East Elementary, Janet Street from Grand Boulevard to Lincoln Street, Lincoln Street from Janet Street to Millman Street, and Millman Street from Lincoln Street to Antoine Street.
Stephenson Avenue from Citgo to Trader's Mine Road will also be resfuraced.
In Kingsford, local street projects include Hoadley Avenue between Maple and Balsam streets; Maplewood Court/Edison Street from Dickinson Boulevard to Westwood Avenue; Sagola Avenue between Chestnut and Woodbine streets; and the west half of Woodbine Street between Breitung and Breen avenues. Seven blocks of alleys will also be paved.
Quinnesec road paving projects are 5,200 feet of Woodland Drive, 250 feet of River Street, 1,670 feet of Kramer Drive, 1,920 feet of Menominee Street, and 1,800 feet of South Park Street.
Norway has one street project this year, which is Saginaw Street from U.S. 2 to U.S. 8.
City Manager Ray Anderson said Saginaw Street, one block on each side of Saginaw and two blocks of the avenue streets, will be crushed and shaped with new blacktop.
Some crack sealing will occur on Main and Section Street in the fall.
Anderson said one-quarter of a million dollars a year will be spent on roads every year after this year, beginning in 2015.
"Each road is designated a different way, and monies have to be spent on designated roads," he said. "There are local and major roads. Iron Mountain and Kingsford have small urbran and Norway has federal task force monies, which can only be spent on federal task force roads."
Anderson said Norway is only eligible for monies for the downtown area.
"The Downtown Development Authority picked up the local share, 20 percent, and we can only put certain monies in the local budget for local roads," he said.
Premo said the traffic signal project and new curbing will be completed sometime this summer.
Lisa M. Reed's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.