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Crossroads asks Metro Transit for $75,000 to help fix potholes surrounding mall

WWMT Grand Rapids/Lansing 3/28/2023 Autumn Pitchure | News Channel 3
© Provided by WWMT Grand Rapids/Lansing

Crossroads Mall in Portage is searching for assistance with funding to fix the crumbling roads surrounding the mall. 

Mall owners are turning to Kalamazoo Metro Transit for help with the estimated $700,000 project.

Buses travel nearly 800 routes a week along Ring Road, surrounding the mall, according to Marni Sawicki the General Manager of Crossroads Mall. Sawicki believes the buses are a major contributor to the deterioration.

If you're headed in for a shopping spree at the mall it's almost impossible to not be struck by a pothole in the parking lot or along Ring Road which circles the area. 

“Where people are like, 'The potholes are terrible', it has only gotten worse," Sawicki said. 

Roads surrounding the mall have been deteriorating for over a decade, according to Sawicki. 

Mall owners have been struggling to keep up with restoration.

“We are trying to address those, but as you know we have escalators, our escalator down here is down, roofs you name it as far as repairs," she said.

Kalamazoo Metro transit buses travel around 3200 routes a month to drop off riders to the mall.

“What used to be a little hole every time the bus goes through, it kind of widens it and widens it, now I have four sink holes on my property, mostly where the bus stop is," Sawicki said.

Mall management is asking Metro Transit for $75,000 in order to make vital repairs along Ring Road, which the transportation center utilizes every day. 

“I am not looking for you to pay for my whole road," Sawicki said. "But at least help me with the damaged part that your buses use.”

Kathy Schultz, The Planning and Development Manager at Metro believes they are an asset to the mall dropping riders off to shop.

“We bring value to the community through our passengers, our passengers spend money at crossroads mall," Schultz said.

Metro Transit is not interested in paying for the repairs, according to Schultz.

“Initially it was surprising that that partnership with Crossroads is to the point that we are being asked to pay, to be able to have space for our riders who need the access to the mall," Schultz said. 

According to Schultz, if Metro can't come to a what is called a reciprocal easement agreement, Metro would have to move their stops off the mall's property. 

“Everything is on the table right now, because if I can’t get some relief, it only makes sense that I should not let the buses on Ring Road," Sawicki said.

To date, an agreement has not been reached by the mall or Metro, however both told News Channel 3 they are hoping to work together to find the best solution for their customers and riders. 

By May, the mall anticipates fixing a main portion of Ring Road between MLK and JCPenney for the safety of the community, according to Sawicki. 

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