Workers load parts of the drain for delivery to the worksite in Roseville Aug. 31.

Workers load parts of the drain for delivery to the worksite in Roseville Aug. 31.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Construction underway to slow erosion along I-94 in Roseville

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 2, 2022


ROSEVILLE — Emergency construction has begun to slow erosion that has been creeping closer to Interstate 94 in Roseville.

Several weeks ago, the Macomb County Public Works Office announced that erosion along two banks of the Rohrbeck Extension Drain, which is located near 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue, was approaching the shoulder of westbound I-94.

Two locations are giving the department concern:

• A bank located east of Little Mack Avenue, approximately a quarter-mile north of 13 Mile Road and about 20 yards from the right shoulder of westbound I-94.

• A bank located south of 13 Mile Road, west of Little Mack and approximately 25 yards from the right shoulder of westbound I-94.

Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said it wasn’t clear how long it would take for the erosion to reach the highway.

At the time, the office had a contractor signed on to make the repairs, but repairs had yet to begin. However, after securing the required permits, work was able to begin Monday, Aug. 22.

In a press release sent Aug. 23, it was stated that the banks — which are approximately 10 feet high — had eroded as much as 6 feet in some places and had come within 25 yards of the westbound lanes of the expressway.

“As soon as we saw this, we knew we had to take immediate action, and that’s what we’ve done,” Miller said in the release.

Stormwater collected from catch basins on I-94 is sent down to the drain through a culvert and into the drain. However, Miller said previously that the culvert has failed.

When I-94 was constructed, sand from the undisturbed land on which it was being built was used to build the embankment of the freeway, which can lead to it eroding quickly, Miller said.

The contractor, L.J. Construction, will excavate and straighten the drain and then use the sand to rebuild the embankment. Then, they will use riprap — large stones or boulders — to armor the surface of the embankment.

Norb Franz, communications manager for the county’s Public Works Office, said that when the repairs started Aug. 22, it was expected to take three to four weeks for them to be completed. He said the repairs are expected to be a long-term fix.

On Aug. 31, Franz said that officials reported construction to be progressing nicely and that some additional work had been added to each location. The entire project is expected to be completed around mid-October, weather permitting, he said.

Miller expects the repairs to cost between $200,000 and $300,000.

Robert DeBruyn, Roseville’s director of public services, said he anticipates the construction won’t have any impact on the residents or people traveling on the highway.

Contact Staff Writer Brian Wells at (248) 291-7637 or