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Macomb County rushes to stabilize severe erosion perilously close to I-94

Candice Miller near eroding banks by I-94
Macomb County
Erosion discovered a month ago near two Macomb County drains has progressed so rapidly, their stabilization has become an emergency, says Candice Miller with the county's public works department.

Macomb County is rushing to repair severe erosion near two drain banks that threatens a section of I-94 in Roseville.

The erosion has resulted in steep, 10-foot-tall bluffs just a few feet from the fencing that borders the highway, said Candice Miller, the county's Public Works Commissioner.

Miller said a Roseville city worker mowing by the highway noticed the damage and called it in. The county monitored the situation for about a month, she said, but recent progression in the erosion has made waiting any longer too risky.

"In the heavy storm events, the intensity of the rain comes through, [and] it just sort of shoots through there at that curve like a firehose," Miller said. "It shelves off four foot, six foot, eight foot of land."

Miller said the situation was created by a combination of damage from heavy rains flowing swiftly through the drains, and the nature of the area, which was built up using sand during construction to support the highway embankment.

Miller said a contractor has been hired and work will begin almost immediately to fix the banks after the contractor acquires the necessary permits.

She said the drains will first be moved away from the damaged area, "and then we will put in what we call rip rap, which is large boulders. It's sort of a puzzle — we'll sort of puzzle it all together there — and that should stabilize that bank."

Miller said the state Department of Transportation will need to do some additional work in the area, but the drains are the county's responsibility.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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