Construction project beginning at Garfield and 18 Mile

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published January 4, 2016


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Garfield Road is already a well-traversed spot for motorists, but many of them might want to find a new route soon.

On Dec. 28, Macomb County Public Works issued a release stating that the far right northbound lane, south of 18 Mile Road, will be closed for approximately nine months for a county sewer project.

The job consists of replacing a 45-year-old sewage metering facility that is part of the Macomb County wastewater system that serves Clinton Township.

The project will take place on the southeast corner of Garfield, temporarily closing 800 feet of roadway south of 18 Mile. All lanes north of 18 Mile will be open, as will all lanes of southbound Garfield. Left turn lanes at 18 Mile will also be open.

Jason Matteo, chief engineer of Macomb County Public Works, said in a release that the township’s existing sewerage metering facility — which was constructed around 1970 — is past its prime and has exceeded its useful lifespan.

Construction will take place 40 feet below ground and utilize large excavators, loaders and bulldozers. Demolition, pile driving, bypass pumping and concrete placement are also part of the process. Work will be contained in an area fenced off from the public.

The updated facility will be a 25-by-14-by-19-foot concrete chamber buried in the ground. A flow-measuring device will be installed within the chamber, using the aid of an electronic flow-sensing device that will constantly record sewage flow through the meter station, which will then be linked to an electronic network maintained by the county and transmitted to its command center.

The meter facility must be positioned at a low point in Clinton Township’s gravity-based sewer system in order to positively drain, and also to collect, all of the upstream sewage from the tributary areas. The station will record the flows and transport sewage in a 9-foot Macomb Interceptor located 46 feet beneath Garfield.

Lakeshore Global is the general contractor, while the consulting engineering firm assisting in construction is Hubbell, Roth and Clark Inc.

Brad Shepler, an associate with Hubbell, Roth and Clark Inc., said the project is part of a larger scope that was initiated in 2012 at a cost of $8.6 million. This Garfield project is the final one of many rehabilitation projects throughout the county.

“As part of the project plan, we’re required to do a life cycle cost analysis, so we did an analysis on 18 structures around the county,” Shepler said. “Fifteen of them were more cost effective to rehabilitate them, but there were three where the numbers didn’t work. This is the third of the three, and all the other rehabilitation sites are done.

“(All the projects have) taken a little bit longer than expected. Contractors ran into some unforeseen conditions and deep excavations have been taking longer than anticipated.”

The project is strictly that of Macomb County Public Works. However, the county works as much as it can with the Macomb County Department of Roads, Clinton Township Public Services and local businesses as needed.

“We are doing our best to reach out to everyone to let them know what’s going on, and so far the feedback has been really positive,” Shepler said.

Residents and businesses also won’t be left out of the project progress.

Shepler said a notification list will be developed to provide real-time updates to interested and affected parties. All email addresses will be blind copied on progress messages that will be distributed either weekly or bi-weekly.

He said this is done to alleviate stress or frustration. Sometimes it takes a couple of months just to dig a hole and people get irritated at what seems like an apparent lack of progress, he said.

“Our main goal is to maintain a safe and reliable sanitary sewer system for the county,” he said. “The structure was not in that good of shape. The county is striving — after taking over the system from Detroit — to offer a better sanitary system.”

Lane closure and construction activity were slated to begin Jan. 4, after press time. Motorists have been advised to seek alternate routes during the construction period.

Individuals wishing to be included on the progress distribution list are asked to send their requests to