NEGAUNEE, Mich., (WJMN) – The Old Town area of Negaunee, is known to have several old mining locations.
Some of the old mine shafts and surface mining areas are viewable by the public from parks. However, Nate Heffron says that due to old trees falling on fencing or people going around fences some safety risks were arising at some locations. To prevent people from being injured at these old mining sites the city has placed new fencing and signs.
“To get rid of the risk associated in this park we’re putting up new fence line in some areas we’re replacing other fence sections and making repairs to those, putting up some signs, doing a little bit of online education to folks,” said Heffron.
The mines are dangerous to people who may try to explore them because they can be deep enough to be injured if someone falls. According to Heffron people could fall into a mine shaft, a crevice or a hole from surface mining. He says they are working with the mine inspector in Marquette to make sure things are safe for the community.
“In some cases, some of these areas do have water in them, so lets say somebody might possibly drown because they hit their head on a rock going down or something like that,” said Heffron. “So there is some real concerns here if you’re not careful, but of course we’re putting these fences up for a purpose.”
There are several areas where people can safely view the old mining areas off the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. Several also feature signs with information on the history of the area.
“It’s very important to understand that we have improved trail areas and we have improved park areas that we want people to stay in, you go beyond these fences and you’re really putting yourself at risk of being injured,” said Heffron.
The City of Negaunee might open up more areas of the Old Town area in the future after some planning and input from the community. Heffron says they need to look at the possibilities before saying definitively what they may be able to open more areas for exploration.
“We are looking at opening up more locations within the Old Town area,” said Heffron. “We want to do some planning, we want to make sure that whatever we’re putting out there for the public to use will be safe.”
Visitors to the area can expect to see completion of the fencing soon. The project cost the city $8295.00 which was reallocated from playground equipment funding due to the safety concerns.