Shifting Ground Prompts Utility to Shut Down Gas Main

DETROIT (AP) — A utility has shut down a high-pressure gas main in southwest Detroit due to ground shifting beneath the pavement.

DTE Energy closed the 24-inch natural gas pipeline Wednesday night “to avert a potential public safety issue and to allow the investigation into the ground shift to proceed safely,” the city said Thursday.

A temporary bypass to restore natural gas to six industrial companies that use the pipeline is expected to be completed within a week.

The shifting first was noticed Saturday.

No injuries were reported, but a marijuana dispensary was damaged and had to be demolished Tuesday. The structural integrity of an adjacent building affected by the shifting ground was being assessed, according to the city.

“We’re still investigating the root cause of this ground upheaval, which continues to apply pressure to DTE’s utility equipment,” said Hakim Berry, Detroit’s chief operating officer.

DTE’s monitoring of its natural gas system alerted engineers to a potential issue, Berry added.

Minor exploratory excavation was initiated Sept. 15 in the area to help determine soil composition and ground stability.

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