Talks about access road continue

ALPENA – The effort to have a grade-A road constructed from Bagley Street that runs behind Walmart and the Home Deput continues to move forward. Huron Engineering & Surveying has created new maps for the road, as well as for another access point on the south side of M-32 in Alpena.

Now a push to acquire funding and clear hurdles involving with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality over a small portion of wet land will commence. An estimate on how much the road could cost also is coming soon.

At a meeting Friday Jim Townsend, Alpena Township Supervisor Marie Twite, Alpena County Road Commission Managing Director Larry Orcutt and Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Jim Klarich discussed the course of actions needed to make the road a reality, as soon as possible.

As with most things, finding funding is the largest sticking point, but it appears once a projected cost is determined, the U.S. Department of Agriculture could provide a loan to the township, via it rural development division. Once the cost of the road is determined the USDA can figure what the township’s payments would be and a special assessment for property owners who boarder the new road could be brought before the township board of trustees.

Klarich, Twite and Townsend said interest from developers about parcels along the M-32 corridor is strong. Klarich said when he gives tours to potential developers he informs them about the movement to have the new road built and how it will allow for ease of access to and from their businesses.

“We have been notifying the companies about the possibility of an access road,”Klarich said. “Especially around the north side of M-32.”

Copy of the map of the proposed road will be given to Rep. Pete Petallia and he is going to shop the idea in Lansing to potential funding sources. Twite is going to compile a list of land owners who would be impacted by an assessment, should one be levied and Team Elmer’s will provide the cost estimate before the next time the group meets.

Those in attendance also were asked to begin brainstorming to find a suitable name for the road.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at