Neighbors fight against concrete crushing facility on Detroit’s west side

‘Anything that poses a health risk, we should be involved in that process’

DETROIT – Neighbors in one Detroit neighborhood ask the city to prevent a new plant from opening in their community as they worry about noise and chemicals from a concrete crushing facility.

On Thursday (Dec. 1), they delivered petitions to the city, hoping it didn’t get approved. It would sit on nearly five acres in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood in a lot on Lawton Street near I-96 and Warren Avenue.

This property used to be a manufacturing site but went out of business long ago. It sat vacant until recently when there was an effort to put the concrete recycling facility there.

The community says the prospect of 50 to 60 trucks a day is high on their “not-in-my-backyard list.”

Vanessa Butterworth and Joanne Arnold brought, by their count, 200 petitions to the city asking that the project not get a green light.

“They pour water on the concrete, so it doesn’t blow,” said Butterworth. “But water doesn’t solve everything. (A). And (B) the concrete is going to mix with the water and then flood out into the street.”

“Anything that poses a health risk, we should be involved in that process,” said Arnold. “Furthermore, it shouldn’t be in a residential area.”

Arnold’s characterization isn’t exactly born out by the video Drone 4 displayed over the site, which is right next to I-96, a railroad line, and lots of green space across the street.

Murray Wikol is the facility’s owner who disputes the health hazard claims.

“What we’re trying to do is recycle the concrete waste that otherwise would go into landfills,” said Wikol.

He also says a concrete recycling business operated there a few years back but went out of business.

“It would be different if it was something that helped the community,” Arnold said.

“We’ve done a lot of projects that have helped us in Detroit for the last 30-40 years,” Wikol said.

Wikol’s company needs a change of land use from the city, and the paperwork says it’s a high-impact usage. It needs the backing of buildings, safety, engineering, and environmental department.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.