An aerial preview of the major sewer infrastructure project dubbed Segment 6, which is slated to begin late this summer near 15 Mile and Garfield roads.

An aerial preview of the major sewer infrastructure project dubbed Segment 6, which is slated to begin late this summer near 15 Mile and Garfield roads.

Photo provided by Macomb County Public Works Office

Major sewer infrastructure project to start late this summer in Macomb County

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published April 26, 2021


MACOMB COUNTY — Macomb County residents can expect a major infrastructure project to begin this summer, though they aren’t expected to see increases on their bills.

The Macomb County Public Works Office announced April 15 that the rehabilitation of a section of the Macomb Interceptor sewer, which carries sewage flushed by more than 600,000 people in 11 county communities, will take place at the intersection of 15 Mile and Garfield roads.

Dubbed the “Segment 6” rehab project, this venture will involve lining approximately 2,100 feet of the current 5-foot diameter piping along 15 Mile, east of Garfield.

Then, the lining of a 1,200-foot curved portion of the 11-foot diameter interceptor will take place at the intersection. MCPWO said an “air jumper” will be installed and connected to the existing biofilter, helping to alleviate odors that have caused citizen consternation for years.

“We must invest in and maintain our underground infrastructure,” MCPWO Commissioner Candice Miller said. “We cannot afford another sinkhole or sewer collapse. These repairs will take us into the next generation and beyond.”

MCPWO said the tentative start date is late summer of this year. It is expected to be completed by the spring of 2023. “Periodic lane closures” are expected in the area, but “traffic will be maintained.”

The Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District board unanimously awarded the project to Ric-Man Construction, of Sterling Heights, on April 12. The company was the lowest bidder at a price tag of $13,541,545.

MCPWO spokesperson Norb Franz said the two other bidders were L. D’Agostini & Sons and Oscar Renda Contracting, which put in bids for $14,561,094 and $21,132,000, respectively.

“Among the three companies that bid on this project, I’m delighted that the lowest and qualified bid was from a local firm and at a significantly lower amount than engineering estimates,” said Miller, who chairs the MIDDD board.

The office also stated that no ratepayer increases in sewer rates are expected in connection with this project.

This project is just down the road from the massive sewer collapse 65 feet below ground level on Christmas Eve 2016, when 23 homes containing Fraser residents were evacuated off 15 Mile Road, between Utica and Hayes roads. Three of those homes were later condemned, and two were demolished.

Labeled as one of the worst infrastructure disasters in the history of Michigan, Miller took office just days later. A football field-size excavation took place, installing a new 11-foot diameter sewer line.

That project cost approximately $75 million and was completed in less than a year.

A $12.5 million lawsuit followed, with proceeds of it paid to the MIDDD in November 2020 by the insurance company responsible for three contractors alleged to have made mistakes in the Oakland-Macomb Interceptor that eventually led to the sinkhole in Fraser.

Some of those monies went toward the ongoing Segment 5 project near Schoenherr Road, which began last fall. Other funds initially allocated to that project will go toward Segment 6.

“The exact amount of Segment 6 to be funded by the ratepayers of the 11 communities in the MIDDD is undetermined at this point, as we seek the possibility of other funding sources like stimulus funds and money for infrastructure,” Franz said.

The 11 communities that compose the MIDD include Fraser, Sterling Heights, Utica and New Haven and Clinton, Chesterfield, Harrison, Macomb, Lenox, Shelby and Washington townships.