Gas Leak Halts Construction at The Abbot, Closes Streets

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Kepler Domurat-Sousa for ELi

The scene at about 5:30 p.m. today as efforts were underway to fix the gas leak.

The area around the construction site for The Abbot is closed and is expected to remain closed tonight as Consumers Energy works to fix a gas leak.

Abbot Road is closed off from Grand River Ave. to Linden Street (just south of City Hall). Thanks to the combination of the downtown picnic table area plus construction plus the gas leak, Albert Avenue is effectively closed for a block on either side of the intersection with Abbot Road.

This evening, ELPD announced “that the open-air dining area along Albert Avenue in downtown East Lansing will be closed for the remainder of the day” due to the leak.

Many police officers are on the scene directing vehicle traffic and trying to keep pedestrians away, although several people walked right through the closed area when ELi was on the scene at about 5:30 tonight.

In October 2019, The Abbot’s site had to shut down when a 4,000-pound construction form shifted during placement on the second floor, causing a tense scene.

Scene of the accident on Oct. 15, 2019, at The Abbot construction site. (Raymond Holt for ELi.)

Starting in March of this year, the site was shut down for almost two months as a result the pandemic.

And earlier this month, work was halted for several hours as a George Floyd protest march took over Abbot Road and police shut the road to protect protestors from drivers. Another protest march is scheduled on that stretch of road for tomorrow starting at 4 p.m.

On Monday, we reported that The Abbot is now scheduled to open to tenants in late August. Workers at the site have been hustling to make up for lost time.

The area where the gas leak happened – in the old roadbed of Albert Avenue – has been known as being a confusing place where underground utilities and structures are concerned. Construction at The Abbot turned up an unexpected series of underground vaults.

Vaults discovered underground in October 2017 at the site that now holds The Abbot. Read more.

Before that, demolition of a building in the area involved some surprises with regard to a major BWL trunk line.

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