Clean highway program slated to start in May

ESCANABA — Spring brings many new things, and also shows what winter has left behind. As the snow and ice melts, debris can be found along roads and highways throughout the county. That’s where the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program comes into play.

Adopt-A-Highway was designed to keep the state highway roadsides clean and attractive.

“The Adopt-A-Highway program began in Michigan in 1990,” said Dan Weingarten, communications representative for MDOT Superior Region. “Today, more than 2,700 groups have adopted more than 6,300 miles of State highway. These volunteers collect 60,000 to 70,000 bags of trash annually, an estimated $5 million value for the state.”

The first scheduled Adopt-A-Highway pickup of the year is April 13 through April 21 in the Lower Peninsula’s southern half. Due to lingering snow cover, the first pickup for northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula will be May 4 through May 12.

Volunteers pick up litter three times each year.

“Statewide, there will be a summer pickup from July 13 to July 21 and a fall pickup from Sept. 21 to the 29,” Weingarten said.

The safety of volunteers is very important. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must have at least three people. The volunteers must wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests provided by MDOT. MDOT provides trash bags and schedules trash pick up.

“Sections of highway are still available to adopt,” said Weingarten. “Go to www.Michigan.gov/Adoptahighway for more information. There are eight sections currently available in Delta County. Each is approximately 2 miles long.”

It is free to participate. Sponsors are asked to adopt a 2 mile section for at least two years. Once a sponsor adopts a segment, an Adopt-A-Highway sign is posted along the stretch of highway with the sponsor’s name on it.

Sections available at this time in Delta County are:

– M-69, approximately 5 miles west of US 2

– M-35, approximately 11 miles south of Escanaba

– US 41, approximately 5 miles north of Rapid River

– US 2, approximately 11 miles east of Rapid River

– US 2, approximately 13 miles east of Rapid River

– US 2, approximately 20 miles east of Rapid River

– M-183, starting at Garden Corners heading south

– M-183, approximately 2 miles south of Garden Corners

Sections available in Menominee County at this time are:

– US 2, approximately 9 miles west of Powers

– US 2, approximately 2 miles west of Powers

– M-35, approximately 5 miles north of Menominee

– M-35, three sections approximately 15 to 22 miles north of Menominee

– M-35, five sections approximately 1 mile to 10 miles north of Cedar River

– M-69, two sections east 5 miles from the Dickinson County line

– M-69, two sections from Bergman road to 10 mile creek

– M-69, two sections from Perronville to approximately 4 miles west

To locate segments available in other counties in the Upper Peninsula please contact the corresponding Adopt-A-Highway coordinator. For Schoolcraft County contact Andrew Perkette at 906-293-5168, ext. 305. Coordinators from other counties can be located on-line at www.michigan.gov/mdot, Projects and Programs tab and Highway Programs/Adopt-A-Highway.

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