Sinkhole restoration leads to awards

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published June 5, 2018

 Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller and Lou Urban, a civil engineer with Shelby Township-based Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, accept awards from the state chapter of the American Public Works Association for “Project of the Year” in relation to the 15 Mile Road interceptor repairs.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller and Lou Urban, a civil engineer with Shelby Township-based Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick, accept awards from the state chapter of the American Public Works Association for “Project of the Year” in relation to the 15 Mile Road interceptor repairs.

Photo provided by the Macomb County Public Works Office

MACOMB COUNTY — The 15 Mile Road sewer collapse of 2016 provided about a year’s worth of financial and physical challenges, though its repair has led to individual accolades for those who led the restoration.

On May 25, Dan Heaton, a spokesman for the Macomb County Public Works Office, announced that the 11-plus-month, $75 million project will be awarded a national project award this summer by the American Public Works Association, or APWA.

The award, which is being offered within the category of “disaster or emergency construction/repair in the $25 to $75 million range,” will be doled out in July in Kansas City. The APWA’s Michigan chapter had already named the sewer collapse’s repair as its statewide project of the year.

“While no one ever hopes to be faced with a catastrophe of the magnitude that we had with the sinkhole on 15 Mile Road, our team of engineers, construction managers, contractors and all those who were involved in this project are rightly proud of the work that they accomplished,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller stated in a press release. “It was not an easy job, but from the start, the people on this job were committed to doing it right. It was the epitome of the word ‘team.’ To now see our engineers and the engineering firms that we brought on board be honored by their professional peers is very gratifying.”

The project’s lead engineering and construction firms were Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick and Dan’s Excavating, respectively, both based in Shelby Township. The lead internal project managers on the job were county employees Vince Astorino and Evans Bantios.

Lou Urban, a civil engineer with AEW, was the lead contract engineer on the project. Recently, he and Miller accepted awards from the APWA Michigan chapter on behalf of the project’s completion.

“There wasn’t a single person on this job who did not pull his or her own weight,’” Miller said. “While there were certainly some sleepless nights as we initially responded to this emergency, it quickly became clear that we had the right team in place.”

The 15 Mile Road project led to other honors, including Outstanding Civil Engineer Project of the Year from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Southeastern Michigan Branch and Michigan Section; the Engineering Merit Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Michigan Division; and the Innovation & Excellence Award from the Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners.

The county drain association also awarded Macomb County Public Works with an honorable mention award in relation to Clinton River Spillway restoration and improvement in Clinton and Harrison townships.