Innovative repair method averts sinkhole in Macomb Township

An innovative new way of rehabbing damaged concrete is the spiral wound pipe method. 

An innovative new infrastructure project, an averted sinkhole, and minimal traffic congestion are all part of the Macomb County Public Works department's latest news this week.

Recently, the county helped rehabilitated a badly-damaged sinkhole at the intersection of 21 Mile and Garfield in Macomb Township. It was done with minimal disruption to traffic while the repairs are expected to last at least 50 years.

"If you're driving around Macomb Township at 21 and Garfield, wondering what the heck is going on, this is what's happening," Commissioner Candice Miller said in a video posted on YouTube.

Behind Miller is a massive coil of material being fed into a manhole next to the intersection. However, the real magic was happening underground where a technique and material called spiral wound pipe was being deployed. 

Corrosion to the Garfield interceptor sewer was caused by hydrogen sulfide gas. 

The strips of PVC being fed into interceptor interlock as they're placed around the interior. Footage underground shows workers in the sewer system guiding the PVC to its appropriate place.

It's the first time the installation method has been used in Michigan.

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"I’m not exaggerating when I say that with the condition of this interceptor right here at 21 Mile and Garfield, if we weren’t taking these steps, we could have a sinkhole here," Miller said, "and you can imagine what that would do to traffic if there was a sinkhole."

The damage to the Garfield Interceptor Sewer was extensive, according to images of the concrete. Degradation to the pipe was ter result of corrosive gas that comes from raw sewage.

The new method was also done without any disruption to service to the thousands of homes in Macomb and Shelby Townships.