Macomb County leaders update Fraser sinkhole, Sterling Heights lawsuit

Posted at 1:15 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 14:48:16-04

Macomb County officials provided an update on the Fraser sinkhole during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller and Executive Mark Hackel spoke at the conference, at the site of the sewer interceptor collapse on 15 Mile.

They discussed the ongoing lawsuit filed by Sterling Heights to help cover the cost of fixing the sinkhole and Macomb Interceptor Drain. It's been nearly five months since the sewer collapsed on Christmas Eve.

According to Miller, they were supposed to begin issuing bonds to help cover the cost of the fix, but because of the ongoing lawsuit, they couldn't do it.

Hackel said the lawsuit also has a cost because the rates of the bonds are going up and it's hurting their ability to sell bonds because of the ongoing litigation.

Miller said it's hurting the interest rate, and because they are going to have to pay a premium on the interest, it will add about $5-$10 million in additional costs.

Miller also discussed that the bypass they built is working exactly the way it's supposed to and they have not had to dump raw sewage into the Clinton River since the first and only time on Dec. 27, just days after the collapse.

She called the bypass an "engineering marvel."

According to Miller, they had the chance to inspect the collapsed interceptor and another interceptor immediately adjacent to the collapse. The pipe adjacent to the collapsed one is also in bad condition with many leaks and gushes. Miller said it is in imminent danger of another collapse and sinkhole.