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Sinkhole in suburban Detroit expected to take several months to fix

Dec 26, 2016

Officials say it will take several months to repair a sinkhole in a suburban Detroit neighborhood. The sinkhole forced home evacuations and closed roadways in Fraser. City and county employees have been working around the clock over the holiday weekend and local leaders say it’s going to be all-hands-on-deck to make repairs.

The sinkhole is more of a depression, because it hasn’t actually opened up above ground yet. But officials believe it’s about 250 feet long and 100 feet wide; larger than one in 2004 that caused a nearby section of roadway to cave in.

They think a sewer pipe that’s 11-feet in diameter, located about 45 feet underground, collapsed.

They hope to get a camera underground soon to assess the damage.

About two dozen families have been evacuated. Consulting engineer Scott Lockwood says they aim to get to residents back in homes within two weeks, although three homes are considered unsafe to inhabit.

Fraser Mayor Joseph Nichols, who declared a state of emergency, told residents he understands they are upset. He says the goal is to get answers and people back in their homes.

Lockwood and Nichols warned residents that there will be plenty of noise, dust and potentially other inconveniences as crews work around the clock to make repairs, including constructing a temporary roadway to get construction equipment into the area.