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Portion of S. Washington Ave in REO Town Closed Indefinitely

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Photo: Video by fox47news.com

Portion of S. Washington Ave in REO Town Closed Indefinitely

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Mar 9, 2012

The City of Lansing has hired "Intrigue Architecture," which happens to be right next door to the building, to assess the damage.

It's an older building, built in 1946 with aging support, but that has not stopped many from blaming the Board of Water and Light for causing the damage because of a nearby water main replacement.

BWL Director of Communications says the project is a simple one, and could not have caused this kind of damage: "None of that causes severe vibration that is associated with a building coming off its foundation."

Though the cause of the shift is still a mystery, the damage is hurting the people of REO Town now.

"I came into work this morning and the whole block was blocked off, so people can't get through here and get to our restaurant, so we're a little slow."

Karen Little, who works at the four-month-old "Southern Grill" across from the damaged building, says the place is normally packed around noon. But now, the only way to get to the Southern Grill is on foot.

"It's detrimental to our business as well as everybody else's," she continued.

Having a main road shut down abruptly, indefinitely and without detours is also leaving drivers no choice but to travel through nearby neighborhoods.

"We have kids here," explained James White, who lives in one of those neighborhoods. "It makes it dangerous having semis, multiple semis, coming through our simple little side street because they’re having to be re-routed."

And on top of all that, several construction projects in the area, by the city and BWL, have been put on hold until further investigation.

The heads of several city departments spent the day in several meetings, but have not come up with a plan to get REO Town running as usual once again. They will also be meeting with the building owner before making any decisions.

"We wanna make sure we take all those things into consideration," explained Director of Public Services Chad Gamble. "That is what all these meetings are about; this is a very important decision and we wanna make sure we get it right the first time."

The building is set to be the new location for The Great Lakes Capital Fund and CENAD. Their president says they still plan on moving into their new location as scheduled after reassurance today by the building owner, that the damage is fixable.