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Updates On Roads, Trails, & Illegal Dumping

Here is the latest update from Houghton County on the flood response, released at 11:08am Wednesday, July 11th.

The Houghton County Road Commission reports that 15 roads continue to remain closed due to the loss of large draining structures. The Commission is working with Michigan Department of Transportation engineers to complete detail engineering reports on the Federal Aid Roads which must be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for their approval before work can continue.  Federal Aid Roads are higher traffic roads that have been designated as such by the Federal Highway Administration.

Emergency work on County roads that are not designated as Federal Aid Roads is complete until financial aid funds arrive with the anticipated federal disaster declaration. The Road Commission anticipates that seven or eight stream crossings that formerly held culverts will be converted to bridges due to spans being in excess of 20 feet.

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced the approval of a $4 million dollar no-interest loan to the Road Commission to be used for road repairs due to the recent flooding. The loan will be required to be repaid over a five year period.

The DEQ reports that cleanup of the dump sites that popped up along M-26 have been completed. Volunteers are being sought to rake up the remaining debris. Emergency drain work continues and they hope to finish work on the Quincy Hill/Ripley grade and at Woodside by the end of the week. They also hope to have work completed on Hendrickson Road by Monday. The DEQ continues their inspection on streams, rivers, road/trail washouts and stream crossings with the DNR and MDOT.

The DNR has crews working in Ripley and Tamarack. They report that a trail spur will be open from Hancock to Dollar Bay in the near future but there is no foreseeable timeframe for opening the remaining trail to Lake Linden. The DNR also reports that extensive dumping of household debris is happening on the trails and they have called in law enforcement to investigate.

The City of Houghton reported that the washout on Sharon Avenue at M-26 has now been graveled and they are hoping to reopen the road to traffic this evening.

The Western U.P Health Department reported that they have given out 423 well test kits and that 233 test results have come back of which 68 have tested positive for bacteria.

The Houghton County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol reports seeing a large amount of debris in the Portage Canal including large trees. Boaters are urged to use caution while boating in that waterway.

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