Fraser – Nearly 4,000 feet of fiberglass-chemical polymer pipe has arrived at 15 Mile and Hayes Road to repair the Macomb Interceptor Drain that collapsed on Christmas Eve.
The collapse produced a 100-foot wide, 250-foot-long sinkhole that forced the evacuation of 22 homes and sunk two homes completely.
The $2.5 million worth of pipes are 20 feet long, over 9 feet tall, and officials hope to have running sewage through them by Labor Day.
“Everything is going very, very well. We are just very excited that these pipes are arriving on time, on budget, even a little under budget,” said Candice Miller, Macomb County public works commissioner. “We call them sticks. Today, we have 14 sticks but in two or three weeks, we will have 199 of these sticks.”
The total cost of the repair is $75 million, financed by a $70 million municipal bond sold by the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District and a $5 million state grant.
To reach the interceptor, contractors dug a trench 300 feet long, 30 feet wide and 60 feet deep. During the process, they removed 32,000 cubic yards of dirt and Miller said they have put it to use.
“That’s a big pile of dirt. It’s gone to different spots. Some of it has gone to I-75 … some of the clay has been used to cap a landfill,” Miller said.
The shaft work is to wrap up in late July. The pipe installation will begin Aug. 1 and take 20 days.
“There will be activity going on 20 hours a day for 21 days and hopefully, by Labor Day, they will have sewage running through them,” Miller said.
Along with the collapsed section, the city will also be replacing 3,700 feet of sewer deemed as being in imminent danger of collapse.
“We know that this community will never have another sinkhole. It’s not going to happen. We are going to fix this thing and fix it right,” Miller said. “Everything on this site is made in the U.S.A. We’re Macomb County, Michigan. We buy American stuff because we make the best stuff.”
Bob Cannon, supervisor of Clinton Township, said he’s pleased they’re fixing the extra 3,700 feet.
“I’m also happy we haven’t had an additional overflow of sewage because those go through backyards of the residents in Clinton Township, the parks, then through Mount Clemens, then through Harrison Township, then to the lake.”
Miller said she was proud of the 6,000-foot bypass that was built in January.
“We have not had to discharge one drop of raw sewage into the drain, Clinton River, ultimately out into Lake St. Clair, which is amazing. As committed as we are to fixing this interceptor, we are just as committed in protecting our environment …and our Great Lakes,” Miller said.
Completion of the sewer line repair is expected to be completed by the end of September and 15 Mile will be drivable by the end of the year.
Some property restoration work may wait until 2018, depending on weather. Miller said the project will be ongoing.
“We actually have contracted to have an inspection of the entire pipe and to no surprise, we have found some areas we will have to address and we will do it on a basis of regular inspections, regular maintenance … so we never have this again.”
Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols praised Miller’s leadership of the project.
“I’m completely grateful to all the workers. Today we have reached a milestone and I want you to understand the lady in front of me shows that your votes count,” Nichols said.
Bob Smith, chairman of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, thanked neighborhood residents for their patience.
“The residents of this area have been so patient and so accommodating and understanding of what’s going on. I think they appreciate the work and effort that’s going into the making,” Smith said.