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Manufacturing returns to Flint's Buick City

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Later this month, manufacturing returns to Buick City in Flint for the first time in a long time.

The last Buick rolled off the Buick City assembly line 15 years ago.  

The 400 acre site has sat largely unused until a year ago when the trust set up to dispose of old GM property sold 18 acres to an Alabama company.

“Everybody’s excited to see American Spiral and some sort of manufacturing come back to Buick City,” says plant manager Tom Anderson.

American SpiralWeld will soon start producing pipes for the Karegnondi Water Authoritypipeline. The $274 million pipeline project will channel water from Lake Huron to Genesee County.   

Pipes manufactured by the company’s facilities in South Carolina and Alabama have been stacking up on the Buick City site for months. The new Flint facility will begin delivering its own pipes by February. 

American SpiralWeld expects to wrap up work on the KWA pipeline by March, 2016.   

Vice President Patrick Hook says the company expects to keep its Flint facility busy with more municipal water system projects in the Midwest and northeastern U.S.

The pipeline company will employ about 60 people. At its height, 27,000  people worked at Buick City.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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