The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Phase 2 of Lake Road construction starting soon



Ironwood Township — The second year of construction is expected to start soon to repair the Lake Road washouts that were caused by the flooding during the July 11 storm last year.

Gogebic County Road Commission Engineering Manager Darren Pionk said the plan to start construction around Aug. 14.

“It’s going to be a fast-track project of course, like we have been doing, but I don’t see any issues with the work not being completed,” Pionk said. “We all anticipate the entire project will be completed this year.”

The project’s target completion date is Sept. 30, Pionk said.

Along with the replacement of eight culverts and repaving a half-mile stretch of Lake Road just north of the natural spring, the work will also include patching work over the culverts that were replaced last year.

The work will be done by the Hancock-based MJO Construction, the lowest of four bids submitted July 7 to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The company’s bid of $887,605 is roughly 13 percent lower than the estimated cost of just over $1 million, Pionk said.

MJO Construction completed the work last year to repair 10 washouts for $2,097,192.

As with last year, the road commission is funding the project with a State Infrastructure Bank loan upfront, and will get 80 percent of the costs reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration starting in 2018.

“It’s the only way we can move forward with this project quicker than waiting for the funding to be approved at the federal level,” Pionk said. “This has been our goal from Day 1, to expedite all these culvert replacements as soon as possible.”

Under the current plan, Pionk said there isn’t expected to be the need to use Powers Road as a detour for this year’s work. Rather, he said drivers will access the one side of the road closure from Wisconsin and the other side from Ironwood.

“We will have weekly updates on the road commission website in relation to where they’re working and how long the closure will be,” he said. “Hopefully, residents can be patient for one last run at these culverts on Lake Road while we replace them. The end result is going to be great, … when we have all this work completed.”

The work will be done from west to east, Pionk said.

Pionk said there will likely be a public information session, probably at the Ironwood Township Hall, for residents before the construction actually begins.

Updates on the construction will be found at


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