Laurium laded for a brand new, old idea

There’s a song lyric that claims “everything old is new again.” The Village of Laurium took that sentiment to heart while completing a downtown street project last summer and was lauded by a state organization because of it.

As Kurt Hauglie reported in a Page 1 story in Wednesday’s Daily Mining Gazette, at its meeting Tuesday, the Laurium Village Council received the Special Innovative Award of Excellence from the Michigan Concrete Association.

Laurium was lauded for a process used to reconstruct Hecla Street. Contractors stamped wet concrete to give the surface the look of individual bricks. The process, which involved using rubber sheets to stamp on the brick design, is similar to a process used in many local communities, including Laurium, in the early 1900s.

As Hauglie reported, the design for the “new” surface actually came from an existing portion of the original early 20th century street.

Ironically, modern machinery couldn’t get the desired effect and the concrete was stamped manually by workers, a much more labor intensive process than the original machine-stamped street of the 1900s.

In addition to the village, MJO Contracting, OHM Architects, Engineers and Planners. Superior Sand and Gravel and U.P. Engineers and Architects were involved in the process.

In bestowing the award, the concrete association judges called the project “very innovative.”

The history of our cities, towns and villages is very important to residents of the Keweenaw. We salute Laurium and all responsible for the project on bringing a bit of history back to life.

Congratulations on an award well deserved.