HUMBOLDT TOWNSHIP (AP) — An effort to accommodate a mining company in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula means a stretch of recreational trail likely will be converted back to a rail line.
The proposal to convert 1.9 miles of a 20-mile trail to rail is the first such reactivation of a rail line in Michigan, and one of about nine nationwide since the federal Rails to Trails law was signed in 1976, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Lundin Mining of Toronto plans to use the rail line to transport nickel and copper from the Eagle Mine northwest of Marquette to a processing facility in Marquette County’s Humboldt Township. The mill will employ about 250, offering an economic boost to the area.
“This is how it’s supposed to work,” said Joe Derocha, the supervisor in Humboldt Township. “If the industrial district ever returns, it should be given back.”
The plan to convert the stretch of trail starting as soon as August still is awaiting final approval from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.