Marquette County Road Commission 2018 winter status update

Published: Mar. 7, 2018 at 5:31 PM EST
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The extended cold streak through this winter has cut into Marquette County Road Commission sand supplies, but has reduced the usage of their salt stock in exchange.

Road commission staff said they've spent more this year due to the winter, but not much more than usual.

The Marquette County Road Commission said this winter has been about average for the U.P.

"We've seen this before, we haven't seen it in a couple years but again this is, I would say not below normal, it's not real high, I'd say it's one of the average U.P. winters here for us," Engineer Manager for the Marquette County Road Commission Jim Iwanicki said.

Road commission staff said they've spent about 14 percent more than last year, and have used about 30 percent more sand this year.

"That's partially due to the extended cold streak out there. Salt doesn't work as effectively at lower temperatures and so rather than wasting that money with product that's not working as well, we chose to use sand at that time, so that's one of the major differences this winter," Iwanicki said.

Iwanicki said there is plenty of salt remaining to handle the roads until the last snow fall later this year. Area residents say the roads this winter have been maintained well.

"I think county road commission does a great job on the roads," The Window Store Owner David Martin said. "So I drive 30 minutes to work every day and I haven't had a problem yet."

"I drive from one end of the U.P. to the other and I haven't really had a bad day on the road," The Window Store's Shawn Phillips said. "They're always nice in the winter because all the potholes are filled with snow."

To further protect the roads before the annual pothole season, weight restrictions are going into effect on some U.P. roads starting Friday morning.

According to the road commission, to go along with the general maintenance of area roads, the state is providing an additional $175,000,000 in general funding to county road commissions, state highways and cities.

"Marquette County Road Commission's portion of that is going to be just under $600,000. Staff is working on currently three road projects to present to our board," Iwanicki said.

Proposals will be decided on March 19th at the next Marquette County Road Commission board meeting.