A group of U.P. Lawmakers are coming out in full support of the building of County Road 595, which is critical to the operations of the Eagle Mine.
The State House adopted resolutions from State Representatives Scott Dianda and John Kivela, while state Senator Tom Casperson is the sponsor of a resolution pending in the Senate.
The resolutions support the Marquette County Road Commission’s appeal of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny approval for the building of the road.
Nearly 100 semi-trucks and contractor vehicles travel the 120-mile round trip every day from the mine to Humboldt along a route including portions of County Road 550 and other local streets.
County Road 595 would divert that commercial traffic by completing a new Class A road over a 21-mile dirt road connecting County Road AAA in Michigamme Township with U.S. 41 in Humboldt Township.
The shorter route from Eagle Mine to their processing plant in Humboldt also would reportedly be a significant savings on fuel costs for the mine.
The actual building of the road will also create as many as 200 construction jobs for U.P. residents.
Last week, Marquette County Road Commissioner James M. Iwanicki and Republic Township Supervisor Gary Johnson went to Lansing to testify in support of the resolutions at a joint meeting of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee.
The road commission was unable to issue a wetlands permit needed to build the road because the EPA objected, despite arguing that it offered some 26 acres of wetlands for every one of the 22 acres that was proposed to be relocated.
The House and Senate resolutions are meant to show bipartisan support for the new county road.