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L’Anse, Baraga County to Try Again for Main/Broad Street Fix

The Village of L’Anse will try again to get federal money for a long-term solution to the paving issues on Broad Street and Main Street.

The town’s two main thoroughfares were part of the state’s original trunk line highway system, and were paved a century ago with concrete.

Eventually, the roads were dropped from the state system. A bypass for US-41 was built south of L’Anse, and plans to complete a highway from the village through Skanee to Big Bay were abandoned.

When the streets were rebuilt, the concrete wasn’t removed. The slabs are still there, under the road. As the ground freezes and thaws, they shift, and crack the asphalt pavement above them.

An estimate prepared two years ago placed the cost of tearing up the roads, removing the concrete, preparing a more stable roadbed, and repaving the two-mile stretch at $12 million.

At last night’s village council meeting, Baraga County Road Commission engineer Doug Mills said the commission will ask U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and U.S. Representative Jack Bergman to include the project in a supplemental federal infrastructure appropriation.

Mills said it will be one of many projects vying for funding. Village Manager Bob LaFave admitted it’s a bit of a long shot. The project was not included on the federal list last year.

A 20 percent local funding match would be required.

The village council voted to support the request, and also to support a second request for money to replace the road commission’s aging garage.

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