Lowering the Grand River

By: Dan Ponce
By: Dan Ponce

Lowering the Grand River by four feet could help alleviate flooding, and could provide healthier conditions for fish and wildlife, according to Jack Hill, the director of environmental health and safety for the Lansing board of water and light.

"If you could narrow the river up, the flow through the river would accelerate," Hill said. "And that could improve the overall quality of the river. Hill said lowering the river could also improve fishing and recreational activities.

The city was planning to lower the river for a four-week test starting July 25. During that time city officials and property owners would examine the river to see if it should permanently be lowered.

Some experts are warning that lowering the river could cause erosion, could potentially impact the Red Cedar and Sycamore Creek and could negatively affect shallower portions of the river.

Currently the Grand River's depth downtown ranges from four to 15 feet.

Hill said the month-long test will most likely be postponed until next summer when the river is at its lowest level.

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