Hello everyone and welcome to another normal Marquette summer. I say normal because you never know what it’s going to be like. Maybe warm or maybe not so warm. So far it looks like this one is on the not so warm path. Either way, it usually works for all of us that have been around for a long time. No matter what, we seem to be able to participate in the normal summer activities and make the best of what we have. I think we’ll all agree that Marquette always seems to produce the best.
For those of us that work for the City, probably our most prominent summer activity is road and other construction. Outside of our usual road maintenance projects, the most prominent is likely the new infrastructure at the Lighthouse Park. The City Commission has been working hard at establishing this park as something the City can be proud of and has spent the last 12 months deciding how to do it. This summer, you will see a new entrance to the park via East Arch Street off of Lakeshore Boulevard, as well as a new multi-use path and two new parking areas. One parking area will be in front of the lighthouse buildings and the other, which incorporates a small cul-de-sac, will be in front of the Maritime Museum. The old Coast Guard Road that leads to McCarty’s Cove will be abandoned, however the Multi-use path will remain along that route.
The City Commission has also made some other significant decisions in the area of construction that will, in my opinion, be significant assets to our community. The first is the reuse of the old dock pilings located in the lower harbor just off of Founders Landing. This is a project that has been in the works for about 20 years and is a requirement by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), formerly the Department of Environmental Quality, as part of the overall Founders Landing project. The public will be able to enjoy two new piers for recreation, including boating, kayaking and fishing.
The boating public will also see the beginning of our pier replacement project at Presque Isle Marina. This is also a project that has been in progress for the last several years and is a long time in coming. I am also happy to say that the Commission has established a stable funding and maintenance schedule to allow us to keep both marinas useful and functional into the future.
The last project that I’d like to mention is the recent City Commission decision to move forward with the relocation of Lakeshore Boulevard between Wright Street and Hawley Street. This is a highly traveled section of our shoreline road system that has been under constant attack from Lake Superior in the form of erosion caused by wind, waves and generally harsh weather. The Commission has committed, as part of the first phase of the project, to move the road inland and away from the effects of Lake Superior and has committed $3 million from the 2019-20 budget as part of a match to a recent $2.5 million grant awarded to the City.
Overall, the City of Marquette is moving forward in a very positive way and I hope and encourage all of you to enjoy the many good things that we are experiencing. Enjoy your summer, I know I will.