Michigan’s largest state park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the Upper Peninsula, was damaged by Lake Superior's rising water levels along with a recent storm. Part of a major county road near the main entrance to the park is threatened by the nearby collapse of the shoreline. The emergency repairs are expected to start on Monday, August 5th, and cost $550,000.
John Pepin, deputy public information officer for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, says visitors will likely be concerned with the single-lane closures.
“If the road were to be washed out or the Union River bridge be washed out, the detour to get all the way around from the western side would be 80 miles,” he says.
Pepin says the DNR doesn’t typically get involved in county road construction, but this affects the state park in a big way.
“This is an important access way to Michigan's largest state park, and Lake of the Clouds is one of the most photographed places in the state, so we think it's important to let people know what's going on with the road,” Pepin says.
Pepin says the repair work will be temporary, but the DNR will be reaching out to the public for input on long-term solutions. He says the Ontonagon County Road Commission and the State Park Improvement Fund are paying for the repairs.