Michigan Residents Fear Lake Michigan Bluff Carrying Amtrak’s Pere Marquette Will Collapse

Some residents of St. Joseph, Michigan, fear that a bluff along Lake Michigan near their property has eroded to the point that it might collapse and take the CSX tracks on it with it.

michiganThe line carries Amtrak’s Chicago-Grand Rapids Pere Marquette. The bluff stands above Old Lakeshore Road.

St. Joseph Mayor Mike Garey reviewed photographs of the bluff and said its collapse “wasn’t a matter of if, but when.”

Some of those living near the bluff said they’ve been sending photographs of its deteriorating condition to CSX for 15 years. The railroad has responded that it is monitoring the situation.

The bluff is on property owned jointed by the residents, the city and CSX.

Homeowner Anson Lovillette said he met with CSX consultants four years ago and was told the railroad planned to conduct a study of the bluff. But he said he has not heard back from CSX on what that study found.

The bluff is being eroded by a gap that opened in the 1990s in the shoreline along the lake and has grown to about 120 feet in width.

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