BENTON HARBOR — Drivers traveling between St. Joseph and Benton Harbor via the Bicentennial Bridge are well aware of the flooding that happens on the Benton Harbor side during rainy, windy days.

To figure out why the flooding is happening and how it can be fixed, two studies are being conducted – one by the Michigan Department of Transportation and one by Berrien County Drain Commissioner Christopher Quattrin. Main Street is the I-94 Business Loop and the designated route in case of emergencies on I-94, making it a state road.

The mess on Main Street

Peter Colovos of Prairie Real Estate Group in Benton Harbor stands in almost knee-deep water on Aug. 30, 2016, at the rear entrance to one of his developments, Saranac Flats, 376 W Main St. He says the underground drainage system he installed around the building is supposed to hold storm water from his property and slowly release it into the Main Street storm drain system. Instead, during storms, he said water from Main Street is backing up onto his property and flooding it.

The mess on Main Street

The proposed new site for the I&M Main Street substation in Benton Harbor, shown in December, is no longer wetlands. Peter Colovos from Prairie Real Estate says filling in this wetlands has made the flooding problem in the area worse. 

The mess on Main Street

This photo from Feb. 1, 2018, shows the wetland area near Saranac Flats on Main Street in Benton Harbor. The section on the far side of the fence was later filled in so the I&M Main Street substation in Benton Harbor could be moved further back on the I&M property. Peter Colovos from Prairie Real Estate contents that filling in this wetlands has made the flooding problem in the area worse.