IRONWOOD — Property acquisitions will be minimal for Ironwood’s 2014-’15 U.S. 2 (Cloverland Drive) reconstruction project, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Mike Premo, of MDOT’s Crystal Falls office, told a gathering of about 75 people at a Thursday public meeting in Ironwood that two chief areas where property purchases will be required are the two intersections where a fifth lane of traffic will be added. The extra lanes at the Douglas Boulevard (Business U.S. 2) and Lake Street intersections will be used for left-hand turns. He said some property will be purchased at those two intersections. “We’re not going to take anything without compensating,” he said.
Since the four-lane highway will be widened, business and home owners understandably had questions about possible parcel purchases. There are hundreds of homes and businesses along the two miles that will be reconstructed.
Premo said MDOT has enough right-of-way along the highway to add one foot to each 11-foot wide lane.
“We need to provide 12-foot lanes,” Premo said.
At Douglas, he said about five feet would have to be extended on both sides of the street behind the present curbs and gutters.
MDOT had input during both the Gogebic Range Bank and Walgreens projects with an eye to the upcoming reconstruction work, Premo noted. Walgreens, for example, has only one entrance point from U.S. 2, which avoids traffic conflicts.
Premo said the stoplights set-up on Cloverland Drive won’t change and the speed limits, set by Michigan State Police, are likely to stay the same, although they will be lowered during the two years of construction.
Another public meeting on the project will be held in about a year, before the 2014 summer work begins.