Truck Route Ordinance

Proposed Ordinance #608 Background Information


10/29/13 Update:  The Special Marquette City Commission meeting scheduled for Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall Commission Chambers regarding the proposed Truck Route Ordinance #608 has been cancelled.

The City of Marquette is seeking input from all interested parties during this process, and will provide residents with information updates as the process moves forward. The City has crafted a “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) document, and will continue to provide updates and clarifications as required.

Truck Route Ordinance FAQ

What are the impacts of trucking that the City is hoping to control with this proposal?

Answer:  There are numerous public safety issues associated with truck traffic when incorporated as part of the multi-modal use of the City streets on which they operate.   In addition, few City streets are designed for use by the largest truck configurations, creating additional routing challenges and collateral traffic impacts that can cascade through neighboring areas.  Sub-surface infrastructure (I.E., water and sewer infrastructure) can be impacted by the repeated weight and vibrations of surface traffic.  Since Michigan permits the highest vehicular weight limits of any state, and allows trucks as heavy as 164,000 pounds (twice the federal limit) OR HEAVIER to operate on state roads based upon special permits, the potential for sustained degradation of city streets when used as truck routes creates immediate maintenance issues as well as greatly increased on-going capital improvement requirements.


Are there any other impacts of trucking that the proposal might address?

Answer:  Truck traffic is a necessary and ubiquitous requirement of modern life, and control of trucking is imposed in order to provide balance with other municipal objectives.  The City, to the extent possible, has sought this balance through the tenets expressed in the Master Plan, Zoning, capital improvement plans, and through investments that reinforce the quality of life of city residents and taxpayers.  This includes, to the extent possible, mitigation of impacts for areas of the City through which truck traffic may represent an incompatible use, such as parks, schools, cemeteries, residential areas, other areas used for recreation, as well as dense commercial business corridors.

Why is this action necessary?

Answer:  There are many reasons why the action is being proposed.  Regional and National economic development activities are placing pressure on local road systems.  At the same time, with the exception of I-75, there are no Federal or Congressional designated corridors receiving funding in the Upper Peninsula, nor has the State of Michigan identified or provided support for any central U.P. regional corridors, or those connecting the central U.P. along the southern Lake Superior Coast, or end-to-end across the U.P.  As a result, this places the full burden for traffic management and associated impacts on local governments.  The ability for individual jurisdictions to bear associated costs is very limited or non-existent, and often fraught with conflicting interests and competing goals.

Do local governments realize this, and what are they doing to address the issue?
Answer:  Local governments understand this, and have worked together to produce a whitepaper which outlines $20M+ of requirements that address regional transportation needs, including a minimum of $10M+ required for short-term public safety improvements within the City of Marquette that would be necessary while a proposed long-term solution could be implemented.  The City supports the whitepaper, as does Marquette Township, Negaunee Township, Marquette County, the Marquette County Road Commission, and Northern Michigan University.  The City and surrounding jurisdictions are independently in contact with Federal and State legislators to reinforce the need for transportation infrastructure investment, as well as discussing public/private alternatives with individual interests as they step forward.
Have either the federal or state governments provided any type of response?

Answer:  The locally elected representative and senators have been actively working with their colleagues in Congress to secure a special appropriation which may address part or all of the whitepaper needs.  As of the writing of this FAQ, no legislation has been introduced, and no firm commitments have been provided for a specific funding level.  It should further be noted that no organ of State or Federal government has adjusted plans or permitting processes to address local concerns, or otherwise acknowledged the impacts associated decisions have upon transportation infrastructure, government costs, or societal burden.

How do city residents pay for managing truck traffic?

Answer:  There are several ways taxpayers support truck traffic through the municipal budget process, including: 

  • Administrative and Planning support.  The Community Development and Engineering departments study anticipated road requirements, and develop plans and engineering requirements that are provided to the Planning Commission, the Marquette Brownfield Authority, the Downtown Development Authority, and other local jurisdictions for use in capital improvement plans and related development.
  • Department of Public Works support.  The DPW is responsible for all road maintenance requirements, including emergency repairs, routine improvement, and weather related support.  The DPW coordinates with other departments as necessary based upon the severity and complexity of work needed to ensure city streets are maintained within usability parameters.
  • Police Department support.  Enforcement of all local traffic ordinances and the Michigan Vehicle Code.
  • Annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  The city bonds for approximately $4M/annum of capital improvements largely related to street improvements and construction (including water, sewer, storm drainage, etc.)

In addition, standing practices in Michigan provide for public/private partnership regarding transportation investments, although the full cost for any non-municipal requirements are typically borne in full by the interested private party.

What truck routes are being proposed?

Answer:  The following Roadways in the City of Marquette are, to the exclusion of all other Roadways, hereby designated as truck routes and classified for use by truck traffic:

1.) South Front St. from the mouth of the Carp River to the U.S. 41/M28 Roundabout*;
2.) South Front St. From the U.S. 41/M28 Roundabout* to W. Washington St.;
3.) W. Washington St. from Front St. to US 41/M28*;
4.) All segments of U.S. 41/M28* routes;
5.) M553* from the southern city border to McClellan Ave. at the
M553*/McClellan/Division intersection;
6.) North M553*/McClellan Ave. to the intersection with W. Washington St.;
7.) McClellan Ave between Washington St. and Wright St, restricted to the hours
between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.; and
8.) Wright St. from McClellan Ave to the western boundary of the City, restricted to the
hours between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

* Federal and State trunklines are listed here for informational purposes only. The City does not control the use of Federal or State highways. Permitted uses of Federal and
State Highways are established by federal and state authorities, and are not restricted by City ordinance.

In addition, special permits may be issued for truck traffic that cannot be accommodated by the designated routes.


Would trucks be allowed on City streets?

Answer:  Yes.  As proposed, trucks may pass through the City on designated routes; enter or exit the City on designated routes; and once in the City, leave designated routes to make pick-ups, deliveries, and service calls via the shortest and most efficient route to their in-City destination(s).


Are there any trucks exempted from the ordinance?

Answer:  Yes. 

1.) Fire trucks or other emergency vehicles or vehicles on emergency business involved
in the saving of life or property, or

2.) Municipal and governmental owned vehicles operating in support of municipal or
governmental, or

3.) Road repair, construction or maintenance vehicles owned and operated by a
municipality or government or any contractor while involved in the repair, construction
or maintenance of a road, or

4.) The operation of any Truck, or Truck Tractor and Semi-Trailer, or Truck Tractor and
Trailer combination, or Truck and Trailer combination which is classified as a
Commercial Vehicle upon any officially established detour, or

5.) Garbage service vehicles while involved in the provision of usual and contractual
garbage and recycling services.

In addition, any trucks that are leaving or returning to the owner’s storage and maintenance location in the City or operator’s personal residence in the City provided the most direct route to and from a designated truck route is utilized.

Are there any other issues that the City considered that are addressed by the proposed ordinance?
Answer: Yes.  The City remains committed to dialogue regarding regional road issues with the County and other local and regional jurisdictions.  The City remains committed to the transportation whitepaper provided to State legislators.  The City has sought, to the extent possible, an ordinance that acknowledges and accommodates partner interests without diminishing the objectives and investments of its residents and taxpayers.

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City Manager
300 W. Baraga Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855
Ph. 906-228-0435
Fax 906-228-0429
City Manager:
Bill Vajda


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