It’s been seven months since that December 24, 2016 Christmas Eve morning when homeowners on Eberlein Street in Fraser were awakened to “pounding noises,” and other sounds and conditions, that forced the evacuation of the 22 homes on Eberlein, plus one on 15 Mile Road, later that same day.
The developing “Fraser Sinkhole” led to the eventual condemnation of two of the homes on Eberlein, plus the 15 Mile Road home, with residents, other than those who resided in the three condemned homes, returning to their homes in early January.
Much has been accomplished in the last seven months, and the project is now known as the “15 Mile Sewer Repair Recovery Shaft.” Work crews have excavated the shaft down to the damaged 11-foot diameter interceptor pipe; the damaged pipe at the east end of the site is being removed while excavation continues on the western end of the shaft. Including the “precut,” approximately 30,000 cubic yards of soil have been excavated during the recovery and shaft-building operations.
Workers have reached the 11-foot diameter damaged interceptor pipe at the east end of the recovery shaft, and have begun removing the old and damaged portions in preparation for installation of the new Hobas pipe that will replace the damaged pipeline in the recovery shaft, and will also be used to line the approximately 3,700 (upstream) portion of the existing pipe for extra strength and security.
This photo shows the eastern end of the 300-foot long recovery shaft. Men are at work in the 60-foot deep excavation preparing the site for the installation of a “base slab” that will serve as the starting point for installing the 9’ 2” diameter Hobas pipe that will line 3,700 feet of the pipeline between the collapse and Control Structure #3 (CS3). CS3 is located east of the collapsed area, approximately one-quarter mile west of Garfield. The same Hobas pipe will also serve as the re-placement pipe for the damaged area of the interceptor.
Two smaller excavators are still at work removing soil and the damaged pipeline from the recovery shaft. The fourth and final set of “wales” (horizontal bracing) is also in place, and you may note that it’s fastened to the concrete piers that were drilled around the site prior to the start of the excavation. The 260 piers serve as the perimeter support for the approximately 300’ x 28’ recovery shaft. Each pier has approximately 24 cubic yards of concrete and more than half also have a 70-foot I-beam (W21x182) weighing more than six tons each, encased in the concrete. The rectangular “bucket” in the center of the photo is used to bring up the soil and debris being loaded by the smaller excavators to the top of the recovery shaft where it is loaded onto equipment and moved off site.
Chemical grouting and cleaning work continues in the other portions of the interceptor, and preparations are being made to begin the lining process for the 3,700 feet of the interceptor east of the damaged section to Control Station #3 (CS3) which is located about one-quarter mile west of Garfield Road.
The Hobas pipe that will be used to repair the actual damaged section, as well as relining the existing pipe to the east, is arriving at the worksite from Houston, TX on a daily basis, and the relining process is scheduled to begin in early August. Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller anticipates reopening 15 Mile Road by some time in December, and completion of the final restoration at the site by next spring.
The 9’ 2” Hobas pipe, in 20’ lengths, from the Hobas factory in Houston, TX, is arriving daily at the site.
With excavation efforts well underway, chemical grouting and cleaning progressing well, and groundwater levels at satisfactory levels, plans are in place to begin relining 3,700 feet of the 11-foot interceptor with the 9’ 2” HOBAS pipe that will also serve to repair the damaged portion of the pipeline in the recovery shaft. Prior to starting the relining process, a “base slab” needs to be poured at the bottom of the 300-foot long recovery shaft. The concrete slab with reinforced steel will be poured at the bottom of the shaft, and the Hobas pipe will be tied down to this slab when the cellular grout that encases the pipe is poured. If current progress is maintained, the slab is scheduled to be poured in the next two weeks.
AEW President & CEO Roy Rose inspects the recovery shaft progress from the fourth and final set of “wales” (horizontal I-beams) near the bottom of the excavation. Smaller excavators are at work in the bottom of the shaft clearing out the debris from the damaged pipe and surrounding soil.
AEW’s Lead Inspector Keith Lumma in the 11-foot diameter interceptor pipe that is just east of the recovery shaft. This portion of the interceptor, including the 3,700 feet further east to Control Station No. 3, will be relined with 9’ 2” diameter HOBAS pipe to help ensure the integrity of the interceptor going forward. The bottom of the shaft is 60-feet below ground level.
View of work activity in the recovery shaft from inside the eastern end of 11-foot diameter interceptor.
Viewed from east to west at the 300-foot recovery shaft operation. The relining process using the HOBAS pipe will begin at the east end of the shaft.
Macomb County Dept. of Roads District Inspector Joe Danna, and AEW’s Inspectors Pat Ollinger and Dillon Campbell have been working diligently over the many months of the project to help ensure the integrity and quality of the work performed.
AEW proudly serves as the lead consulting engineer on this important project that impacts 11 communities, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, 500,000 residents and thousands of businesses.
Founded in 1968, Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick (AEW) is a leading design firm providing civil engineering, architecture, geographic information systems (GIS) consulting and surveying services to municipal, institutional and private clients. We are committed to the enduring strength of our communities through innovation, value and engineering excellence.