New highway proposed for Eagle Mine


Looks like Lundin Mining inherited a transportation route mess from Rio Tinto when it bought the Eagle Mine located 30 miles north of Marquette.

The Marquette County Road Commission (MCRC) is considering a plan to use eminent domain to seize private property to build a new 55 mph highway from CR 550 (“Big Bay Road”) to the Eagle Mine. The MCRC has said it wouldn’t be making these improvements if not for the Eagle Mine, making it illegal to use eminent domain for the benefit of this multi-national mining company. Area property owners and residents are speaking out against the highway and the threat of eminent domain.

This is not a plan for road upgrades, this is a plan for a brand new highway — and we must speak out! Check out the proposed route changes to the Triple A and CR 510 and responses to questions raised at the recent public hearing. Area residents deserve a new Public Hearing to weigh in on the new proposed upgrades.

The MCRC modified the proposed realignment based on public outcry. But the process is on an accelerated path; as the MCRC approved its plan modifications at the same meeting the modifications were proposed.

Your voice is important! Write a letter to the editor, or call your local Marquette County Commissioner to discuss the proposal for a new highway.

Meanwhile, the City of Marquette is struggling with Lundin Mining’s plan to run ore trucks through the city and Northern Michigan University’s campus. In July, the City Commission’s request to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to have transportation be considered part of the Eagle Mine’s permit was denied, which would have forced the mining company to mitigate environmental impacts of truck traffic in Marquette.

Though the Lundin Eagle Mine says they’ll only increase total truck traffic by a small percentage, these trucks will be filled with ore, increasing the weight on the roadways by an estimated 50%. This poses not only a financial burden on taxpayers for years to come, but, more importantly, a huge safety risk for our communities.

** Update** The City of Marquette Public Hearing was cancelled. We are disappointed that the City of Marquette has chosen to postpone tomorrow’s Public Hearing on a truck ordinance en lieu of private meetings with Lundin Mining Company.

Stay up-to-date with these rapidly-evolving issues by checking out our FB page at — together we will keep da U.P. wild!

To the editor: Road to ruin

Road to ruin | The Mining Journal | April 7, 2013

To the Journal editor:

The Upper Peninsula has a long history of mining and logging. Regardless of one’s personal position on this issue, don’t let the county leave public safety on the side of the road when considering proposed truck routes in Marquette County.

The Marquette County Road commission and Rio Tinto are negotiating plans to spend over $40 million restructuring the roads leading to the Eagle Mine, including over 20 miles of restructuring work on Marquette County Road 550.

The shoulder widths being called for by the Marquette county roads commission are below Federal Highway Administration recommended minimum widths of four foot paved, and below Michigan state standards of a six foot paved shoulder called for during restructuring work, that will endanger the public’s use of the Big Bay highway.

The three foot paved shoulder proposed by the county road commission is below acceptable standards. In the interests of public safety and to adequately plan for future use of this valuable traffic corridor, the county should rebuild the Big Bay highway with the minimum acceptable shoulder width called for during a restructuring project.

The county is failing to consider additional growth in northeast Marquette County, the demands of emergency responders, a projected increase in non-Eagle Mine truck traffic, other commercial development, private landowners, the residents of Powell and northeast Marquette townships and the tourists and travelers to Big Bay.

The county’s plan also fails to adequately provide for safe non-motorized and recreational use of this valuable transportation corridor.

Everyone that travels the Big Bay highway should be concerned. Everyone with an economic stake in Marquette County’s future should be concerned.

Demand the county provide adequately for public safety. Develop the Big Bay highway to the minimum acceptable roadway design standards.

In the interests of public safety, economic stimulus and future growth, the county has the duty before it to add six foot paved shoulders during the Big Bay highway restructuring project.

Mike Beck, member

American Planning Association

Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals

CR 595 debated at forum

August 29, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN – Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE – Roughly 100 people testified Tuesday at a packed public hearing at Northern Michigan University on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s wetlands and alternatives objections to Marquette County Road 595. Continue reading

Marquette County Road Commission calls attention to Tuesday hearing

CR 595 truck demo

August 27, 2012
By JOHN PEPIN – Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE – In an effort to generate support and call attention to Tuesday’s public sessions on the proposed Marquette County Road 595 roadbuilding project, the Marquette County Road Commission moved logging and aggregate truck traffic today through parts of Marquette. Continue reading