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Commissioner Tikkanen Wants a New Bridge

The Houghton County Commission approved a number of administrative items during their meeting last night. Approving accounts payable and paying the bills was at the top of the list. As well as approving union contracts with the county employees and the county airport. The county also plans to purchase five new cruisers for the sheriff department.

Commissioner Tikkanen Added a thirteenth item to the agenda as well. The county will also begin discussions and determine best options when petitioning the state for a new bridge installment over the portage canal.

This is not an effort or an idea to replace the existing bridge, but as far fetched as it may sound can we not engage in meaningful discussion on a single span bridge somewhere here across the waterway. – Commissioner Tom Tikkanen
We were one of two island in the country, in the continental U.S., that has this kind of population with only one bridge. – Commissioner Glenn Anderson

In the most recent infrastructure bill signed in Washington, the state of Michigan is slated to receive around 10 billion dollars. Houghton County hopes to petition the state for funds to construct a new bridge, as the county hopes to continue a steady population growth with the assistance of a thriving economy attractive to new residents.  

Do we really expect that to change, you know as far as the number of people moving here, I dare say, not. Not with the vibrant economy we have in large part to Michigan Tech, and our high tech industries and manufacturing that is taking place. – Commissioner Tom Tikkanen.

A new bridge would certainly make traffic flow better between the island half of the peninsula and the mainland of the UP. But until discussions start and pen is put to paper, the county will only dream of a new span across the Keweenaw Waterway. The biggest questions will be, how much would a new development cost the county and taxpayers? As well as where along the canal would provide suitable space for both traffic and construction.

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