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USPS won't say when it will move forward with a controversial consolidation plan

Close up view of the back of a couple of postal trucks, with blue USPS eagle logo
Nati Harnik/AP
USPS mail delivery vehicles

USPS' plans to consolidate sorting in part of Southwest Michigan appear to have been delayed, but it's not clear for how long.

The Postal Service has plans to consolidate mail processing in Kalamazoo and surrounding communities. But it appears to have delayed those plans by at least a few months. Kalamazoo is one of a handful of places around the country targeted for an overhaul.

USPS says moving sorting out of post offices will cut costs and improve service. But critics say it will force postal workers to travel unreasonably long distances.

"They want people to drive all over southwest Michigan now," said Kevin Trayer, the Michigan-area vice president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors.

“Aren't they concerned about people's safety? Aren't they concerned about the traffic? Aren't they concerned about adding 200% more drive time from all these other places?”

Then-Congressman Fred Upton publicized — and criticized — the postal service’s plan last fall.

Trayer said the Kalamazoo plan was supposed to launch this month or next. He said instead, it’s been delayed until at least June.

A spokesman for the Postal Service would not confirm that timeline, saying only that that the post office doesn't have a firm date for launching centralized sorting in Oshtemo.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.