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Consumers Energy Starts Work On $5 Million Project To Support The Uptown - Bay City Development In Downtown Bay City

BAY CITY, Mich., Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy has started work on a $5 million utility project that will support the Uptown Bay City development in downtown Bay City.

The project, funded jointly by the utility and Bay City, involves the installation of underground electric lines that will replace existing overhead lines. The overhead lines, poles, and towers will be removed after the underground system is installed, tested, and in service. That equipment is scheduled to be removed by the end of 2013.

The utility project is part of the overall plan for the Uptown Bay City development, which is anticipated to have an investment of about $50 million in its first phase.

Consumers Energy's vice president of energy delivery, Garrick Rochow, said the utility was pleased to work with the city and support such an important economic development opportunity for Bay City.

"Consumers Energy has been serving Michigan families and businesses for 125 years. We are committed to this state and part of our promise to our three million customers is that we're ready to do our part to help create jobs and economic growth in Michigan," Rochow said. "This project is a prime example of how we work with local officials to help their communities grow and thrive."

Robert Belleman, the city manager for Bay City, said the start of the Consumers Energy work was an important milestone for the Uptown Bay City project.

"The construction of the new underground electric system in the development area is a key step toward making the Uptown Bay City project become a reality. I'm excited that Consumers Energy is starting the work on that new system and I'm looking forward to all the progress that will be made on it in the coming months," he said.

The first part of the utility project is boring a hole 30 feet under the Saginaw River. The equipment that will bore the hole big enough for a 32-inch diameter pipe is set up on the west side of the river, in the Veterans Memorial Park, south of the Veterans Bridge.

To protect the public safety, the use of the boring equipment will require the temporary closure of the entrance to the J.F. Kennedy Drive parking lot just south of Veterans Memorial Bridge, the two northerly baseball fields, the playground (Imagination Station) as well as about 850 feet of the Riverwalk, starting just south of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

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