In 2019, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) undertook a major reconstruction project in Marquette Township along the busiest highway corridor in the Upper Peninsula. The US-41/M-28 project, just west of the city of Marquette, including road reconstruction, adding two new roundabouts, and creating a multi-use tunnel under the highway. The total cost is $10.9 million ($8.5 million in road work and $2.4 million for the tunnel).
Commercial development has exploded along this busy corridor over the past 25 years, increasing traffic congestion to an average of about 32,000 vehicles per day and making non-motorized connections difficult. Turn-related crashes at private drives and side roads have been problematic for several years. The project includes extending an existing divided boulevard and adding roundabouts at two busy intersections. These improvements will eliminate direct left turns, reducing driver confusion and improving safety and mobility for all users of the roadway.
Roundabouts offer a solution to the traditional intersection problems of delays, capacity, and safety. Since everyone is traveling in the same direction and at lower speeds, crashes are reduced. Left-turn, right-angle and head-on crashes are virtually eliminated. Roundabouts make efficient use of space and increase the capacity of an intersection. They also reduce delay, emissions and fuel consumption.
A new multi-use tunnel beneath US-41/M-28, just west of County Road 492, will provide a safe connection for non-motorized users and snowmobilers throughout all seasons. Previously, bicyclists and snowmobilers crossed the busy five-lane highway to reach businesses, access bike trail systems and use a popular snowmobile trail network. This project supports an innovative approach for US-41/M-28 through the Marquette area to build a more efficient transportation corridor. The two new roundabouts complement the three existing roundabouts on the highway further east to provide a safe, efficient, and more predictable trip through the area.