Editorial: Cooperation exceeds expectations

North Wind Staff

NMU’s campus is in the grip of several adjustments this fall.The most current of these changes, however, is preparation of the trucking route that will cut through campus at Sugarloaf Avenue and Wright Street, which is expected to be in full force in coming months as 2014 approaches.

Comic Credit: Dorsey Sprouls
Comic Credit: Dorsey Sprouls

The trucking route — which will allow for the hauling of materials from the Eagle Mine in northern Marquette County to the processing plant west of Ishpeming in Humboldt Township — will use existing roads like Wright Street, which are currently being upgraded for the increased traffic flow.

In the shadow of a federal government shutdown, a result of clashing ideas and stubborn leaders, it’s refreshing that those who lead, work and study at NMU value the importance of cooperation.

Many NMU administrators and student leaders — namely ASNMU Vice President Abby Roche and academic affairs chairman Vito Giannola — are concerned that the increase in traffic from the mine will present noise issues for students in the dorms, especially those along Wright Street. Additionally, the intersection of Sugarloaf and Wright Street experiences a heavy flow of walking, biking and driving students, and an increase in truck traffic could present issues for those who travel through that area of campus frequently.

Authorities at the Eagle Mine do, however, assert that the heaviest traffic to and from the mine has already passed, as 2012 was projected to be the peak year for construction and traffic.

And, according to traffic studies provided by Dan Blondeau, senior adviser of media relations for the Eagle Mine, the operation will only increase traffic flow by four to six percent on CR 550 and two to three percent along Wright Street. Blondeau also said that a multitude of commercial vehicles already use Sugarloaf Avenue and Wright Street for hauling and other commercial uses.

Whatever the case, both NMU administrators and ASNMU members, who are opposed to the new trucking route for the sake of student safety, have had active cooperation in tackling the issue from a united front.

Art Gischia, senior associate vice president for administration at NMU, said last week he has happy with the consistent message being sent by his colleagues and ASNMU leadership, and acknowledged that even though it will be hard to change the future of the truck route, he and his colleagues remain dedicated to putting student safety at the forefront of the argument.

With so many examples of indecision and ineffective communication both on campus and at a national level, it’s nice to see that the ability to work cooperatively is still valued. And, even more, that it is being encouraged on campus between students and members of the administration.