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Fraser sinkhole update: Crews drilling, installing piers

Drilling at the Fraser sinkhole in April 2017.
Drilling at the Fraser sinkhole in April 2017.

The Macomb County Public Works Office has released the following update on the repairs underway at a sinkhole in Fraser. 

The sinkhole formed beneath homes Dec. 24, 2016 after a sewer collapsed along 15 Mile Road between Utica and Hayes road. Three homes on Eberlein Drive were condemned. Two of them were demolished. 

Video: Fraser sinkhole explanation

Here's this week's update which summarizes the work being done and offers a timetable for work to come: 

As of April 26, 2017, construction crews have drilled 70 of the planned 244 piers that are needed to support the shaft that will be dug out to replace the collapsed section of the 11-foot diameter Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District interceptor pipe that runs under 15 Mile Road in Fraser. The crews are working 20 to 22 hours per day, drilling and installing the piers. The target date for completing that work is Memorial Day weekend.

The piers are round holes drilled 70 feet deep and roughly three feet in diameter. They are filled with concrete and about two-thirds of them also include a steel I-beam in the cement. These piers form a wall, also known as the "cage," around the 60-foot deep shaft that will be dug out to allow the replacement of the collapsed section of the interceptor. The shaft will be roughly 280-feet long by 30-feet wide. The cage is necessary to prevent the shaft from filling in during the work.

“This is hard work, it is loud work and it is work that generates dirt and dust,” said Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller. “We are doing whatever we can to mitigate the sound and the disturbance to residents in that area, including placing a wall of hay bales to absorb some of the sound. But we are pushing hard so we can get this work done this year. Nobody wants to see this stretch on beyond 2017.”

Work on the inspection of the interceptor in and around the area of the collapse has begun. Eventually, more than 17 miles of MIDD pipes will be inspected, using a variety of technologies, including camera inspections of the interior and sonar inspections of the exterior of the pipes. So far, engineers have been able to walk inside the pipe roughly 600 feet to the east of the sinkhole and plan to eventually walk and visually inspect 3,700 feet of the interior of the pipe to a bulkhead to the east. Engineers will use the data collected from these various inspections to make a recommendation to the Public Works office, in May, on a possible Phase II aspect of the repair work.

The Public Works office has set a target date of Sept. 30, 2017, to be complete with the lining, replacement and repair of the pipe. All of the work, to include repaving of 15 Mile Road and restoration of lawns and grass, is scheduled to be completed by Thanksgiving of this year.

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