02/15/11 Last week the Marshall County Commissioners took the next step to make the 7th Road project come to life. The commissioners selected the route they plan to use that will connect Plymouth to the new U.S. 31 with an interchange from Linden Road and Michigan Road.
The county has been working with USI Consultants during the past year mapping out several different routes and narrowing the options. Originally 7B Road was thought to be a good route but following the public meeting in August affected citizens were more in favor of moving the road to north of Eve & Jayne’s Irish Inn. The county then looked at the idea of moving the road slightly further north to allow for economic development on north sides of the new roadway. Following a public meeting in December USI looked at impacts and input and presented the Commissioner with a modified A route.
The route they have selected is option A with a modification that moves the roadway approximately 40 feet to the north along the Colvin property and about 100 feet to the north where it will intersect with Michigan Road alleviating an issue with the driveway of the Irish Inn. The plans show a round-a-bout but a decision on this option will be made at a later date. The reason, federal funding is drying up and the State wants to see Michigan Road connected to the new U.S.31 interchange but they aren’t so concerned with extending the road to the west to Pioneer Drive.
In selecting the route for 7th Road the USI Consultant said, “Option A modified has less wet land impact, the citizen concerns are reduced and it meets the purpose and needs of the project.”
The next step in the project will be to complete the environmental assessment and the archeological reconnaissance. It was speculated that right-of-way acquisition could begin late summer.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said, “I think we are moving in the right direction. This is our one and only opportunity to do this project.”
Commissioner Jack Roose commented, “Emergency traffic will find the new roadway extremely useful once the new U.S. 31 is completed because so many of the county’s east west roads will be cul-de-sacked at 31.” He also spoke of the possibility for economic development along the new 7th Road.