Officials repairing Fort Street in Southwest Detroit, investigating cause of road buckling

Residents complain of natural gas odor for weeks

What caused road buckling in Southwest Detroit still a mystery

DETROIT – Work to repair a major infrastructure issue in Southwest Detroit continued Monday night.

Crews from several agencies worked into the night on Fort Street, where more than half a mile of the street is closed down and guarded amid an infrastructure issue that caused damage in the area.

Underground lines are being marked, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on site checking the sewer and taking samples. DTE Energy and a subcontractor are trying to repair two gas mains.

One local business was destroyed by the infrastructure issue, but amid an investigation, officials have ruled out an underground explosion as the cause for the damage.

“At this point, there is no indication that this was a result of a natural gas leak, or our infrastructure not operating as it should be,” said DTE Gas Vice President Renee Tomina.

However, DTE does acknowledge a gas leak and ongoing repairs.

Neighbors say that they have smelled gas in the area for weeks. DTE said it was contained.

On Saturday, the owner of Stash Detroit felt what he described as an underground explosion.

“(My children) are scared, they don’t know (what’s going on), asking me ‘Mom, why does the road look like a tunnel? Is the building falling down?,’” said nearby resident Amy Richardson. “As a parent, that’s concerning, because how can you comfort your children when they are asking these questions that you don’t have answers to?”

DTE officials said while the leak was contained, they worry of methane leaking from cracks on Fort Street.

Sources said Stash Detroit, which was significantly damaged, may have to be torn down.

About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.