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Public Works Office
Candice S. Miller
21777 Dunham Road, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-5325

15 Mile Road Work Back on Schedule

The 15 Mile Road Sewer Repair project is expected to remain on targeted schedule for completion before the end of 2017, despite a sewage back up that caused more than a million gallons of sewage to enter the repair shaft of the broken pipe that runs along the border of Fraser and Clinton Township.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said Friday that after extensive review of the current status of the work with both internal and external engineers and project managers, her team has developed a new schedule that will allow the original target dates of the project to be maintained.

“We have had contingency plans in place since this work began,” she said. “We may work some additional hours, add a weekend of work, but we will still be on time with this project.”

“This is great news for our residents and our businesses in that area. We are still on target to have 15 Mile Road open to traffic again in December,” Miller said.

During the overnight of Monday-Tuesday, Aug. 21-22, as much as 9 feet of sewage backed up in to the 300-foot by 28-foot by 65-foot deep repair trench that is being used to replace the damaged Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District interceptor, which collapsed on Christmas Eve day, 2016. The sewage back up from the downstream portion of the interceptor, which is 11 feet in diameter, filled the bottom of the trench with sewage and sediment. The exact cause of the back-up remains uncertain, but appeared to be due to a temporary build up of sediment further downstream. A new bulkhead has been installed to prevent such a potential back-up in the future. 

Because the trench had been designed to capture such a back-up if necessary, Miller said the work crews at the site are able to press on with the project. The biggest issue with the back-up was the damage done to a specialized pipe carrier vehicle, known as the “bat-mobile,” which was submerged during the incident. The bat-mobile is expected to be either repaired or replaced with a new, rented bat-mobile by Saturday. About 1,000 feet of pipe, of 4,000 feet total, remains to be put in place.

Once the new pipe is installed, it will be surrounded by a cement grout. When that project is complete, sewage can begin flowing through the underground pipe once again. It has been flowing through an above-ground by-pass system since late winter.

“Paramount to all of this is number one, the safety of our workers; followed closely by our concern about the environment, particularly the nearby Clinton River. This new schedule keeps those priorities in place,” Miller said.

Ongoing testing at and around the site confirms that no sewage escaped the repair trench and no E.coli entered the Clinton River or other waters.

Once sewage begins flowing through the underground pipe, demobilization of the by-pass system and construction equipment at the site will begin, probably the second week in September. 

Miller said the budget impact from this week’s sewage back-up is still being assessed, but she said her office is confident that the project will not exceed the original $75 million budget.