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Why Delta County


Delta County is fortunate to have many high-quality economic development assets in transportation and infrastructure, making it a reliable and sustainable place to live and do business.


Delta County is located at the crossroads of the main north-south and east-west highways in the Upper Peninsula, US 2, US 41, and M-35. These major routes makes transportation seamless and reliable.

US 2 is an east-west highway spanning 2,571 miles across the Northern-continental United States. The Western segment of
US 2 connects the U.P. to the state of Washington and crosses Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho.

US 41 is one of the nation’s major north-south highways. It connects the southern states of Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky with the Midwestern states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It crosses through major cities like Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

M-35 is the Upper Peninsula’s major north-south trunkline highway. Spanning 128 miles, it connects three main U.P. cities: Menominee, Escanaba, and Negaunee.

Delta County is also just 172 miles from the International Bridge to Canada in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. 

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Route US-41 in the U.P.

Fly from home at the Delta County Airport


2 miles away from Escanaba is the Delta County Airport. It offers commercial and general aviation services with daily flights to Detroit, MI (DTW) and Minneapolis, MN (MSP).

The class E, category 4 airport has two runways that are equipped to work the full year, despite any weather conditions. Paired with the mild climate of Delta County, this ensures travelers and businesses reliable air transportation without the worry of canceled flights.

Rail Carriers

Two carriers provide rail freight service that runs through Delta County: Canadian National and Escanaba & Lake Superior.


Canadian National (CN) is a rail line with a major hub in Gladstone. It has a north-south line running from Marquette to Escanaba, an east-west line running through the southern part of the U.P., and a line that runs from the Menominee to Green Bay, WI (its termination point). 

Escanaba & Lake Superior (E&LS) is a privately owned short-line railroad company operating in Northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with headquarters in Wells, MI (Delta County). There are 196 miles of mainline stretching from Ontonagon, MI to Green Bay, WI. 

Main Commodities Transported:

  • Iron ore pellets

  • Limestone

  • Raw materials/supplies for paper making operations

  • Forest products

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Deepwater Ports

There are 3 natural deep ports in Delta County that can provide an extra mode of transportation for businesses in the area. The Port of Escanaba is privately owned and operated and is primarily used for shipping iron ore and wood products. It is 28 feet deep with 5,000 feet of layup area for topside repairs and loading/unloading cargo.


The ports in Wells and Gladstone are currently inactive but pose a valuable opportunity for economic development. The existence of these ports can have a heavy impact on the economy of not just Delta County, but the U.P. as a whole.


Internet services are provided by 4 major companies: DS Tech, Charter Communications, Michigan Broadband, and AT&T.


Major water systems are located in Escanaba and Gladstone. There are additional water systems in Rock, Garden, Ford River, and Nahma. There are also safe and reliable wastewater treatment systems in place in Escanaba and Gladstone.


Electricity needs in the county are served by 4 major utilities: City of Escanaba, City of Gladstone Department of Power and Light, Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, and Upper Peninsula Power Company. All have reliable power and transmission, competitive rates, and incentive programs.


Natural Gas needs are served by DTE Energy. DTE Energy's natural gas utility is one of the nation's largest, safely delivering natural gas to 1.2 million Michigan families and businesses in over 500 communities in an economic way.

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