LANSING, Mich. — The Montgomery Drain Project has been under construction since 2020. It’s a multi-million-dollar project created to stop pollution from going into the Red Cedar River and now officials say they expect it to be done in less than 2 years.
“There’s about 50,000 to 70,000 pounds of pollution that goes into the river because of that drain,” said Ingham County Drain Commissioner Patrick Lindemann.
Lindeman said he found out about those pounds of pollution from the Montgomery Drain going into the Red Cedar river in the late 1990s. The root of this problem? Dated pipes.
“We found that a lot of them were crushed and needed to be replaced,” Lindemann said. “Some of them were in really bad shape, but they can be salvaged.
The solution? A project to break down the pollution, which started in 2016.
“The project will address storm water issues,” said Andy Kilpatrick, Lansing's director of public service. “So basically there are primarily enclosed pipes that carry the storm water down to the Red Cedar River. So this will collect those dangerous chemicals in a large pond, re-circulate the water back up and because of that it will take pollution out of the water before it gets to the river.”
The Ingham County Drain Commissioner's office is working with the Michigan Department of Transportation, city of Lansing, Lansing Township and East Lansing to finish the project..All five entities will split the $35 million price tag.
“I just think at the end of the day, it will be a benefit for this area,” Kilpatrick said.
Despite earlier estimates that the majority of the project would be finished this fall, officials now say it should be largely done next year and totally complete by spring of 2023.
There have been some challenges because of COVID. Since pandemic started, some materials needed for the project have been hard to find, Lindemann said.
“The supply chain out there has been really messed up because of COVID,” Lindemann said. “So that has caused us a problem. We’re looking at that and we’re trying to redesign around some of it and it may end up that the project is more money, but we don’t know.”