Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) officials announced today that a portion of the Marquette to Munising rail-trail has been temporarily closed for resurfacing. Approximately 6.2 miles of trail southeast of Marquette, between the Marquette Welcome Center on US Highway 41 S and the Ojibwa Casino on State Highway M-28 E, will be closed. The rail-trail is expected to reopen on Sept. 1.
The trail resurfacing project will improve the rail-trail for nonmotorized use in the summer months by replacing the current aggregate with a crushed limestone surface. The crushed limestone will improve conditions for biking, hiking, strollers, wheelchairs and other nonmotorized uses. The multi-use trail is open for nonmotorized use only during the summer, while snowmobiling and nonmotorized uses are allowed in the winter.
"The rail-trail resurfacing project is designed to make the trail more user friendly and more of an asset to the community," said DNRE recreation specialist Ron Yesney. "Increased use in the summer will make this trail as much of a community asset during the nonmotorized season as it has been during the winter snowmobiling season."
As part of the resurfacing project, the trail will be treated with an herbicide between Aug. 4 and Aug. 7. The use of herbicide is necessary to eliminate weeds and other vegetation that would negatively affect the new limestone surface application. The herbicide is commonly used on trails and road shoulders throughout the state. The herbicide is similar to Round-Up and will not affect groundwater supplies or residential lawns. Signs have been placed along the trail announcing the use of the herbicide; as a precautionary measure, the public is asked to avoid the area while the herbicide is being applied and for 48 hours following.
Gerou Excavating of Munising is contracted to perform the trail resurfacing work and herbicide application. The Marquette to Munising multi-use rail-trail resurfacing project is funded through a federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant administered by the DNRE. RTP grant funds are used exclusively for recreation development projects and cannot be applied toward nonrecreation projects.