FRASER (WWJ) – Two homes are being torn down to help clear the way for repairs to a broken sewer line that caused a sinkhole on Christmas Eve in Macomb County.

Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller says two homes along  15 Mile near Garfield in Fraser will be demolished starting Friday. A third home will also need to be torn down.

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“Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to these impacted families,” Miller said in a statement. “We cannot imagine the emotions and the challenges they’ve had to work through since this all began.”

Next week, construction crews will begin to dig out a shaft, approximately 300 feet long by 25 feet wide and 60 feet deep to allow for the replacement and repair of the collapsed 11-foot diameter interceptor.

The repair work is expected to wrap up in September, with full completion of the job – including the repaving of 15 Mile Road – expected by Thanksgiving of this year.

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Officials have said the initial problem arose due to a sewer pipe collapse about 45 feet under the ground. The resulting massive sinkhole is 250 feet long and 100 feet wide — larger than one in 2004 that caused a nearby section of roadway to cave in. No injuries were reported, but several families were displaced.

Miller expects the sinkhole repairs to cost a total $70 million by the time the project is complete.

Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Fraser in January after visiting the site.

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