Taken from a Cliff’s Natural Resources press release:

Cliffs’ Equipment Move Will Impact Road Travel in Marquette & Delta Counties.

Ishpeming, MI—July 31, 2009 —Cliffs Natural Resources,  Michigan operations, is working with a transportation company to move some oversized  materials and equipment from the port of Escanaba to the mines in Marquette County that will impact travel on several Upper Peninsula roads.

The equipment and materials being moved are related to a future repair of the Tilden Mine’s rotary pelletizing kilns.   The kilns are used to heat-harden concentrated iron ore pellets to allow for shipment to steel making facilities in North America.

The oversized pieces of equipment include a kiln shell piece that is 25-feet in diameter and two kiln riding rings that are slightly more that 29 feet in diameter.  The equipment and materials will be used to replace similar pieces that have been in use at Tilden since 1979.

As a result of the material movement, the trucking company has been working with the Michigan Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies to determine which roads will be affected.  Due to the size of the loads, roads will have to be cleared in front of the transporting vehicles.

“We realize this may be a slight inconvenience for motorists as the vehicles pass through the communities between Escanaba and the mines,”  said Dale Hemmila, Cliffs’ district manager of public affairs in Michigan.  “However, this is the most expeditious way to move these large pieces to the mine.  We plan to work with MDOT and the law enforcement agencies to minimize the impact on motorists and others.”

The cargo movement will affect the streets and roads from Escanaba to Marquette beginning at 4:30 am EDT on Sunday, August 2, 2009.  Roads closest to Escanaba will be affected initially with the roads closer to the main gate at the Empire Mine on M-35 north of the village of Palmer will be affected later in the morning.