Iron Belle extension project nears completion
August 8, 2020
By RICHARD JENKINS
Ramsay — Although the segment won’t formally open for another month or so, work extending the non-motorized Iron Belle Trail into Ramsay is nearing completion as the trail’s blacktop has now been poured.
“The week after Labor Day is what we’re shooting for officially (for the opening),” said Paul Anderson, a project manager with Coleman Engineering who is overseeing the project.
He said some shoulder restoration work still needs to be done, as well as the installation of fencing on the Ramsay side of the project and concrete ramps at every road intersection. Anderson said benches and signage also still needs to go in before the segment can fully open.
The route continues 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, the trail returns to the rail grade before leaving it again to bypass the sewage lagoons before ending at Ramsay Road, across from the Keystone Bridge.
Bessemer Township Supervisor Jeff Randall said he is looking forward to the trail’s opening and there are a number of restaurants and Airbnbs in town that are looking forward to serving the trail’s new users, along with the existing snowmobile and ATV traffic.
Work on the newest segment is funded through a combination of a $299,900 Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant; the Michigan Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are providing $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.