Grand Rapids traffic light outage blamed on squirrel in substation

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A problem at an electrical substation caused several traffic lights in Grand Rapids to go dark Monday morning.

The lights went back on around noon.

A city spokesperson said the problem, which began around 9:45 a.m., stemmed from two blown fuses at the Consumers Energy Coldbrook substation, in the area of Leonard Street and Monroe Avenue.

Consumers confirmed to News 8 the problem was caused by a squirrel getting into the equipment. It was killed.

The Coldbrook substation feeds traffic lights, parks, parking lots and other city-owned properties.

Guidance on how to handle a dark traffic light, which previously had been somewhat confusing, was clarified in Michigan in 2018 with a law that requires them to be treated as an all-way stop.

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