Marquette lighthouse property construction underway

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - It's not plan most people wanted to see, but City Engineer Keith Whittington explains it was much needed.

"We had a roadway that was being used not only for vehicular traffic but for bicycles and pedestrian traffic so the Commission decided it would be a good idea to separate that,” said Marquette City Engineer Keith Whittington. “Another reason is that we have utilities that are very old and need to be replaced and upgraded."

Back in February, the plan was rejected by the Marquette Planning Commission. But after careful consideration, the Marquette City Commission decided to move the proposal forward, which was good news for some people.

Yet for others it wasn't.

Residents living in the area aren't in favor of how the construction will impact their property in addition to disrupting the flow of traffic, which city officials understand.

However, they guarantee the eventual outcome will put a smile on everyone's face.

"No one's ever happy I guess when it comes to something new that's getting done in their neighborhood, but I think when it's all said and done It'll be a nice project that everyone will enjoy, especially for the overall public,” explained Whittington.

The multi-million dollar project will reconstruct the multi-use path running along the shoreline to provide an access road and parking lot.

This will eliminate the Old Coast Guard Road and extend Arch Street towards the lighthouse property to provide improved ease to the Maritime Museum, in addition to building a new lighthouse park.

"Some people had some understandable concerns,” said Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli. “We did the best we could to work with them to try to alleviate, but in the end I think we created a park or a setting that's beneficial to the entire community."

City leaders don’t have an exact time frame for when phase one will be complete. However, it is expected to last five weeks.

During this time, they remind people to use common sense and don’t drive through the barricades.