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Settlement reached for sewer sinkhole in Macomb county

Courtesy Macomb County Public Works Office

The Drainage District in Macomb County is getting money from the insurers of three contractors blamed for a huge sinkhole in Fraser. In December of 2016, the sinkhole began to form and ended up as big as a football field. It badly damaged three houses.

“We received a $12.5 million claim, a settlement award, which is actually the largest award for Macomb County government in history. It's all finally behind us with that sinkhole,” said Candice Miller, the Macomb County Public Works Commissioner.

The total cost to repair the line was $70 million. Miller says the district  was fortunate to get that much of a settlement because the problem was not determined until the sinkhole appeared much later. The district will spend more money to stabilize more of the sewer line.

“This is a very old aging piece of infrastructure. This is a major interceptor. It handles sewage for about a half a million people. And we have recently let a contract for twenty eight million dollars to line the rest of this pipe to ensure that we don't have another sinkhole,” Miller said.

Residents won’t face a rate increase because the award, some reserve funds, and some borrowing covered all the costs.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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