Update from City of Detroit, DTE and GLWA on ongoing investigation into Southwest Detroit ground shift

Update from City of Detroit, DTE and GLWA on ongoing investigation into Southwest Detroit ground shift

  • DTE shuts down 24-inch high-pressure gas main being impacted by ongoing ground shifting to protect public safety

The ground shift that occurred last Saturday in Southwest Detroit has further impacted DTE Energy’s natural gas infrastructure. Out of an abundance of caution, the company on Wednesday night, moved swiftly to shut down a 24-inch, high-pressure natural gas pipe along Dearborn Street to avert a potential public safety issue and to allow the investigation into the ground shift to proceed safely. DTE is installing a temporary bypass that will restore natural gas service to the six industrial clients affected by this temporary safety disconnection. DTE expects that the bypass construction will be completed, and service restored within a week.

“We’re still investigating the root cause of this ground upheaval, which continues to apply pressure to DTE’s utility equipment,” said Hakim Berry, chief operating officer for the City of Detroit. “We thank DTE for its detailed monitoring of the natural gas system, which alerted engineers to a potential issue – and for putting the safety of our community first by taking the proactive step of temporarily shutting down the main and installing a bypass line to service their customers.”

The installation of the bypass will interrupt the Great Lakes Water Authority’s (GLWA) normal wastewater solids processing at its regional Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) and Biosolids Drying Facility on Jefferson. As a result of this interruption and the need to store solids inventory on-site, there may be a short-term increase in odor because the Authority will not be able to maintain its typical high standard for odor control at the facility. The storage of solids on the WRRF site will not prevent GLWA from meeting the water quality requirements of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit and will not create any public health issues. There will also be increased truck traffic in the area during the service interruption as GLWA works to remove solids inventory from the WRRF.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, some minor exploratory excavation was initiated. This work has consisted primarily of soil borings in the road and behind the medical marijuana dispensary, Stash Detroit, to help determine the current composition and stability of the ground.  The dispensary was demolished Tuesday, and the debris will remain on-site and covered during this preliminary ground assessment is being conducted.

Inspectors from the Building Safety, Engineering and Environment Department (BSEED) are continuing to assess on the adjacent structure (10023 Fort) for structural integrity to determine whether the building can be salvaged or will require partial or full demolition. A portion of the building was also affected by the elevated ground level.

Streets remain closed indefinitely in the area of Dearborn and W. Fort. Streets affected are W. Fort, Miller, Woodmere, Dearborn, Riverside and Stone.