How a rotted sewer pipe caused a sinkhole along 10 Mile Road in Warren

Repair work costs $230,000

A sinkhole along 10 Mile Road in Warren. (Macomb County Public Works)

WARREN, Mich. – Crews were called to 10 Mile Road in Warren to repair a sinkhole along the curb that could have caused a much larger problem, like the collapse of the road.

Officials said the sinkhole was discovered along the westbound curb of 10 Mile Road at Loretta Avenue, which is west of Mound Road.

A 30-foot portion of the elliptical, corrugated metal pipe in the enclosed part of the Bear Creek Drain had rotted, according to Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller.

Stormwater got through the openings in the 11-foot-wide pipe and caused some of the gravel and dirt bed to be washed away, she said.

That caused a sinkhole that, if it had grown, could have led to a pavement collapse on 10 Mile Road, Macomb County officials said.

“This sinkhole was right up next to the curb,” Miller said. “It was already a hazard and could have quickly become significantly worse. In this case, the rotting of corrugated metal pipe installed six decades ago is something we’re seeing more frequently in our inspections or where small sinkholes have occurred.”

The house nearest to the sinkhole was just 50 feet away on Loretta Avenue, Miller said.

A contractor installed temporary internal bracing inside the pipe to stabilize it. Hydraulic cement was used to fill the holes at the bottom of the pipe and in the sinkhole, officials said.

Crews working on a pipe linked to a sinkhole along 10 Mile Road in Warren. (Macomb County Public Works)

Workers inside the pipe applied a coat of geo-polymer spray on the interior and installed a carbon fiber grid. A second spray coat completed the repairs on the inside of the pipe.

Miller said this repair will protect the sewer long-term. The alternative option was to excavate to reach the rotted pipe, tear it out, and replace it with new pipe.

The project is expected to be completed soon after crews grout the outside of the pipe up to the sinkhole. The total cost for construction and engineering was about $230,000.

“It’s a reminder that we need to continue to invest in our aging underground infrastructure by inspecting it, rehabbing it when possible or replacing it when necessary,” Miller said.

Candice Miller at the site of a repaired sinkhole along 10 Mile Road in Warren. (Macomb County Public Works)

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