Flint's Saginaw Street bricks are in poor condition - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint's Saginaw Street bricks are in poor condition

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(06/24/14) - Every summer, they are featured in several high profile summer events. But the long, hard winter is being blamed for the bad condition of the bricks on Saginaw Street in Downtown Flint. City Hall says the bricks are an important symbol of Flint and when they're in bad shape, it reflects poorly on the city.

Up and down Saginaw Street you can see orange pylons. They've been there since spring. After the frost left the ground, winter took a toll on the bricks.

"Obviously it's a huge cultural icon in the city. We can't have Back to the Bricks without the bricks," said Jason Lorenz, city hall spokesman.

The bricks also play a role in the Crim Festival of Races. In the running world, the bricks show up as the runners are sprinting the last portion of the race. So race officials want them in the best condition possible.

"It is definitely a trip hazard or even an ankle rolling hazard, especially because it's a part of the start and finish area. The people will be densely packed. So you don't really have a chance to look in front of you," said Andrew Younger of the Crim Festival of Races.

Other participants in the Crim agree.

"I'm a little concerned. I know as I'm coming down the finish line, I'm going really fast and I'm always really careful to look down and make sure I'm not going to trip. I guess I'll have to be extra careful this year," said Theresa Landis, a Crim walker.

"They've been a tradition for a long time. It's probably pretty costly to keep that tradition up. Maybe it's time to change," said Dave Martin, another Crim walker.

A large of portion of the bricks were replaced in 2002, but the ground beneath has shifted in spots. City hall says it hopes to have a solution soon.

"Yes, we're reasonably confident that repairs will be made so the streets are safe and passable for out downtown activities this summer," Lorenz said.

Motorists, by the way, don't appreciate the rough ride they experience where the bricks have heaved and buckled.
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