The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Work on new Iron Belle segment continues


July 8, 2020


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Bessemer TOWNSHIP — Work continues on building the next segment of the non-motorized Iron Belle Trail, which will extend the existing trail from Moore Street in Bessemer to Ramsay.

Construction on the segment started June 1 and the trail’s subgrade has been constructed, most of the necessary culverts have been installed and gravel has been put down on most of the trail.

“We are hoping for paving by around Aug. 1 or so,” said Paul Anderson, a project manager with Coleman Engineering who is overseeing the project.

Once complete, the trail will continue on the old railroad grade from Moore Street to Steiger’s Home Center, according to Anderson, before leaving the grade and going through the woods on an old roadbed to Anvil Road. From Anvil Road, he said the trail will return to the rail grade before leaving it again to bypass the sewage lagoons. It will then meet up with the motorized trail for a couple hundred feet — Anderson said there will still be good separation between the motorized and non-motorized trails — before ending at Ramsay Road, across from the Keystone Bridge.

Once complete, the 3-mile segment will bring the total length of the trail between the Montreal River and Ramsay to 9.7 miles.

Anderson said engineering and construction for the segment is expected to cost $1,484,212. The cost will be partially covered by a $299,900 Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant; the Michigan Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration will provide $745,327 through alternative transportation programs; $173,910 is coming from a DNR Iron Belle Trail grant; the Gogebic Range Health Foundation provided $200,000 and the Michigan Western Gateway Trail Authority is providing $65,075.

Workers are expected to complete the concrete handicapped ramps at intersections and install benches and garbages cans once the paving is complete.

The project is scheduled to finish by the first week in September, Anderson said, meaning the trail won’t officially open until then.

“I’d say we’re on schedule, possibly slightly ahead of schedule,” he said.

Ultimately, the trail will run from the Wisconsin border to Wakefield before continuing as the statewide Iron Belle that is designed to go between Ironwood and Belle Isle in Detroit.


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