Ground swells in Southwest Detroit, River Rouge are both linked to Fort Iron & Metal

Material is a fine version of recycled metal

Ground swells in Southwest Detroit and in River Rouge both have connections to the same company.

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – The massive ground swelling in Southwest Detroit prompted a nearby scrap recycling company to move its material to a facility in River Rouge. Then something similar started happening at the River Rouge facility.

River Rouge’s director of public safety Roberto Cruz said the ground shifting near Campbell Street and Pleasant Street could be worse. He said fire and police got a call from Homeland Security about the sinkhole. They went to the scene did an investigation and contacted all the companies with underground lines near the buckled pavement.

“Nobody had property or lines that ran into that area. Conrail came out and inspected their railroad tracks, the transmission lines, the above ground power lines they sent somebody out to inspect that, so as of right now, the only thing that’s that’s impacted over there is the private property,” said Cruz.

In a statement, Fort Iron & Metal explained what happened:

“In early November, our company moved scrap recycling materials from its facility in Southwest Detroit to an independently-owned facility in River Rouge for storage. On November 18, we were informed by the facility that there was buckling in the area around our materials. Starting the next day, we have been in the process of safely removing materials from that location and taking them to a different independent storage facility.”

The material is called mill scale, it’s a fine version of recycled metal.

“They’re slowly removing the mill scale off the property, which is the weight that caused the sink hole. And once they get that out, then they can reassess and then begin to properly fill in and re-asphalt parking,” Cruz said.

Mill scale is also the material the city of Detroit cites that was so heavy that caused soil failure on Dearborn Street in September.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.