2017-03-09 / Front Page

Byway Grows To Include St. Ignace

Plans to designate a portion of US-2 as a Pure Michigan Scenic Byway are nearing completion, and the designation will now be extended through St. Ignace as far as Castle Rock.

“We’re in the final stages,” said Bruce Gustafson of Naubinway, during a meeting at Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway Thursday, March 2. “I am very optimistic that this designation will happen soon.”

Attending were representatives from Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission, and towns along the proposed byway.

The original proposal was for the byway to extend along US-2 from the west side of St. Ignace to Naubinway, but the project has evolved to extend from the end of the business loop in St. Ignace at Castle Rock to the intersection with M-149 in Thompson, southwest of Manistique.

The designation will create a new foundation for attracting tourists, highlighting the scenic and historic assets found along this byway, with help from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. It also increases promotional opportunities for the communities along the byway, as well as opportunities to coordinate development. Many communities have already sent representatives to meetings, to hear and to share their thoughts. Another meeting has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, April 3, at Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum. The proposed route includes St. Ignace township on the east, the City of St. Ignace, Moran, Hendrix, Hudson, Garfield, and Newton townships in Mackinac County, and Mueller, Doyle, Manistique, and Thompson townships in Schoolcraft County. The city of Manistique would be the western boundary. All local units are invited to send a representative.

Following the April meeting, the group will finalize its application to MDOT. If accepted, the next step will be to set up an implementation plan to include details on how to promote the byway and attract tourism to the area.

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