Macomb County, Roseville working to address I-94 erosion

By: Brian Wells | C&G Newspapers | Published August 24, 2022

 Erosion along Interstate 94 in Roseville is causing concern for the Macomb County Public Works Office.

Erosion along Interstate 94 in Roseville is causing concern for the Macomb County Public Works Office.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


ROSEVILLE — The Macomb County Public Works Office has engaged a contractor to address erosion that is slowly creeping toward Interstate 94 in several places in Roseville.

According to a press release sent by the office, two banks in the Rohrbeck Extension Drain, which is located near 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue, are the worst that officials in the office have ever seen.

“It’s a serious concern, and it has to be fixed immediately,” Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said.

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.

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

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

Miller said the erosion was first noticed more than a month ago.

“We found this thing; we’ve been monitoring it for a little while, not too long. It just started getting so bad so quickly, so I’ve decided we’re acting immediately,” she said.

According to Miller, the Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for repairing the culvert. An MDOT representative familiar with the culvert could not be reached for comment.

Using funds pulled from different drain funds, the Public Works Office has hired a contractor to perform the work. Miller said the repairs are expected to cost several hundred thousand dollars, and although she did not give an exact number, she expects the funds to cover most of the cost. She also doesn’t know how long the repairs will take once they begin but hopes it won’t take long.

Miller said the contractor 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.

If the problem was to go unaddressed, Miller said she didn’t know how long it would take for the erosion to reach the highway.

Norb Franz, communications manager for the county’s Public Works Office, said the repairs are expected to be a long-term fix.

In Roseville, Robert De Bruyn, the city’s director of public services, doesn’t expect the repairs to have any impact on the residents or any person who travels the highway through Roseville.

At this point, he said, his department has not been involved; however, the department would work with Miller’s office if needed.

At press time, repairs had not yet begun.