Construction Resumes After Gas Leaks

By: A.J. Hilton Email
By: A.J. Hilton Email

Greg Limmer has been the owner of Grand Arts Supply for 19 years. Three of those years have been at a new location, just off of Washington Street and Michigan Avenue in the heart of a construction zone.

"Business is down about 30 percent from where it should be, where it was last year," said Limmer. "The main reason is that besides having the roads blocked off right out front, the detours."

Gas leaks were the big detour that put a stop in construction. Limmer says he could smell the gas, and had to close his business early last week.

Construction resumed on Friday, with a watchful eye from the city.

"I think that's something the mayor and I share as a priority," said Public Service Director Chad Gamble. "We noted that there was a problem, and I think we were very quick to react to that."

Within a nine day period, there were three different gas line breaks in the downtown area. City officials met with Consumers Energy to discuss way to prevent a possible fourth one.

"Consumers Energy is committed to having a dedicated employee down there," said Public Information Director Terry DeDoes. "This employee is to help identify the locations within the mains whenever there is a question, instead of continuing to dig."

The plan among other things, also calls for all existing utilities affected by construction to be remarked.

"These marks not only protect the workforce, it also is reliant on the workforce downtown, keeping these businesses that are located in Lansing in business," said Gamble.

Meanwhile, Limmer is still patiently waiting for construction to wrap up without anymore detours.

"Having the roads torn up just really hurts people coming from any other place," said Limmer.

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