CR 550 work in full swing; motorists must use caution

MARQUETTE – With construction on the Marquette County Road 550 well under way, travelers are asked to drive carefully and be aware of their surroundings.

Construction on 550 began June 11 from the Marquette city limits north to Sugarloaf Mountain. Marquette County Road Commission Engineer-Manager James Iwanicki said that portion of the road should be completed by mid-July.

“We are crushing the existing asphalt, re-grading and putting new asphalt on top,” Iwanicki said.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane during the day and motorists should expect minor delays, he said. There is no work scheduled on weekends, but that could change depending on weather and time schedules, he said. The work is being done by Bacco Construction and Payne and Dolan.

“As with any construction zone, travelers should be aware of site conditions, workers and other people,” Iwanicki said. “Just slow down a little bit and be patient.”

The project will cover about 3 miles and cost $1.2 million, which is being paid for by Rio Tinto. Iwanicki said the next section that is being considered is from the Big Garlic River north to Wilson Creek. There is no date set for when that work will begin, but will occur after the Fourth of July holiday, he said.

According to Iwanicki, the improvements to the road are being done to make it up to all-season trucking standards. Rio Tinto is funding upgrades to section of County Road 550, 510 and the Triple A Road, which will serve as a portion of the transportation route for the company to get its nickel and copper from the Eagle Mine on the Yellow Dog Plains to the Humboldt Mill processing center in Humboldt Township.

“We should have a busy summer out there on 550 and we just ask that people be careful while traveling through,” Iwanicki said.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is