FRASER (WWJ) — Officials in Macomb County say that a permanent fix for the massive sinkhole in Fraser could cost nearly $78 million, but could ultimately exceed $100 million.
The funding could come from federal or state sources, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said, including the Federal Highway Administration and Michigan Department of Transportation.
Adequate repairs to the massive sinkhole are expected to take nearly a year to complete.
The cost estimate was announced Friday as the county addressed a sewer line collapse in area along 15 Mile between Hayes and Utica in Fraser. The sinkhole emerged on Christmas Eve day displacing homeowners and requiring a temporary bypass of the ruptured line.
As work continues on a bypass sewer line, most of the 22 nearby families forced to evacuate Eberlein St. have been allowed back into their homes. However, three homes were permanently condemned, leaving those families with nowhere to live.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited the site of the sinkhole last week after declaring a State of Emergency in the city of Fraser.
“It was important to go see it in first-person,” Snyder told reporters. “I had an opportunity to meet one of the residents — we need to understand that this impacts real people’s lives in terms of having to leave their homes, other challenges and also the long-term risk associated with this.”
Authorities say the sinkhole arose due to a sewer pipe collapse about 45 feet under the ground. Over 500,000 residents and their properties could be impacted if the ground shifts from this sinkhole, while a water conservation order remains in effect for much of the county.