MIDLAND (WJRT) - (04/04/17) - One of Mid-Michigan's largest employers is considering asking the city it operates in to close a road, permanently.
The Dow Chemical Company is eyeing the section of S. Saginaw Road between Mark Putnam Road and Salzburg Road for closure.
The road goes right between the plant in Midland.
It's less than a mile, and before Dow Chemical bought the remaining stake in Dow Corning last June, it wasn't a huge issue.
Now that the two companies are one, Dow Chemical says it poses security concerns, as pointed out by the Department of Homeland Security.
It also has lead to extra paperwork just to get a shipment across the street.
Closing the road would shift traffic to Bay City Road to Waldo Avenue and finally Gordonville Road. A study commissioned by Dow Chemical shows that would add between 90 and 180 seconds to a person's drive.
Bill Wall owns Bone Daddy's BBQ at the corner of Waldo and Bay City roads where the rerouted, non-Dow Chemical traffic would end up.
"A reason I chose to be out here was because I didn't want to deal with the main road traffic over there, hamburger row where, you know, they're bumper-to-bumper, there's always issues over there," Wall said. "Traffic at this particular intersection is quite busy as well already. I think the extra flow of traffic probably going to bring up some other issues as far as safety goes."
Wall also knows closing the portion of Saginaw Road could be a blessing, too. Already, more than 80 percent of his business comes from Dow workers; more might discover him if the change happens.
"My traffic, the increase, could be as much as two-thirds, three times busier than we are now," Wall said.
Dow Chemical wants to hear from community members before making an official request to City Council about that possible road closure.
A series of community forums are scheduled. See the list below:
Tuesday, April 4, 7-8 p.m., Freeland Sports Zone
Monday, April 10, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Bullock Creek High School
Wednesday, April 12, 7-8 p.m., Midland Center for the Arts
Wednesday, April 19, 7-8 p.m., Valley Plaza Great Hall
Tuesday, May 2, 6-7 p.m., Valley Plaza Great Hall
Thursday, May 4, 7-8 p.m., Valley Plaza Great Hall