- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) - Some St. Joseph residents are concerned that the bluff below their property is eroding and could collapse, taking railroad tracks along with it.

Residents along Old Lakeshore Drive expressed their concerns Monday to city commissioners, who said they shared their fears of a possible train derailment along the CSX Transportation line that carries Amtrak passengers and freight cars, The Herald-Palladium (https://bit.ly/2iHt0eh ) reported.

Houses along the road aren’t in danger because they’re on the opposite side of the street.

Mayor Mike Garey said that based on photographs, it appears that a collapse isn’t “a matter of if, but when.”

Resident Anson Lovillette said that for 15 years, he has been sending letters and photographs to CSX officials, who have assured him they’re monitoring the situation.

“The question is who is in charge, and what are they going to do?” Lovillette said. “It will be less expensive to fix the problem when it’s small than to wait until it’s big.”

He noted a train derailment with passengers or a chemical car would be a catastrophe.

The newspaper couldn’t immediately reach CSX officials for comment.

The erosion appears to be a gap in the shore protection wall that runs along the lake. The gap, that was about 20 to 30 feet wide, was first discovered by residents in the 1990s.

“It’s definitely getting worse, especially the last couple or three years,” Lovillette said.


Information from: The Herald-Palladium, https://www.heraldpalladium.com

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