Morning commuters faced extra long waits Tuesday, July 3, in Kalamazoo. A derailed train snarled traffic and affected businesses and local government offices.
Fifteen cars of a Grand Elk freight train left the tracks in the city’s downtown area shortly before 7 Tuesday morning near West Michigan Avenue. That blocked major streets and forced some businesses to close for the today. And Kalamazoo County commissioners canceled their scheduled meeting Tuesday evening despite a full agenda that included a new proposal for a downtown arena.
There’s no word yet on what caused the derailment. There were no injuries and officials say the train did not carry anything hazardous. The city has posted a detour map and urges drivers to seek alternate routes.
Kalamazoo city officials say it will take time for heavy equipment brought in from Ohio to right the freight cars and clear the way. They say that work will continue overnight and into Wednesday morning. At a trackside news conference Tuesday afternoon, city officials said they don't know yet if cars blocking Kalamazoo Avenue will be removed by Wednesday morning. However, Michigan Avenue is open.