Dow ponders possibility of road closure - WNEM TV 5

Dow ponders possibility of road closure

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
(Source: Dow Chemical) (Source: Dow Chemical)
MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Two companies are becoming one, but a major road divides them right down the middle.

That's the issue Dow Chemical is looking to solve by closing a mile stretch of a road that passes right between its Midland operation and Dow Corning. However, not everyone is on board.

Dow said closing a section of Saginaw Road would consolidate the Dow Corning and Dow manufacturing sites in that area, saving the company $4 to $6 million per year.

"Well, Dow has a culture. Dow Corning has a culture. We want that to become a single culture," said Rich Wells, vice president and site director for Michigan Operations.

Dow wants to close off Saginaw Road from Mark Putnam Road to Salzburg permanently.

"We view it as an investment and the ability for our site and our company to grow in this region in Midland, in the Great Lakes Bay Region. We think it is a step that's worth our community investing in," Wells said.

That investment would come in the form of a slightly longer commute for some motorists.

Traffic would be redirected from Bay City Road to Waldo Avenue back to Saginaw Road.

Wells said there would be traffic signal upgrades at three intersections along the proposed route to handle increased traffic. He also encouraged anyone with questions or concerns to attend any of the six public meetings planned from now through early May.

"We believe at this point and time that that inconvenience of having to take an alternate route around Saginaw Road is worth it. Because it will result in growth, very profitable growth for Dow Chemical and that means good things for our community," Wells said.

Dow has not decided if the road closure is something they want to pursue. The company wants to hear from the public first.

However, the Midland City Council will have the final say. They would have to vote to approve closing that stretch of Saginaw Road.

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