Will Michigan insurance policies cover the Fraser sinkhole?

If you haven’t yet heard about the massive sink hold that appeared last week in Fraser then you must be living under a rock. Just imagine waking to the feeling of your home sinking into the ground. Our heart goes out those homeowners dealing with this unexpected tragedy. Fortunately, no one has been hurt, but the damages are adding up quickly between personal property loss and infrastructure damages.

Here are some of the facts as reported recently reported in The Voice:

Sinkhole repairs in Macomb County to cost ‘tens of millions of dollars’

Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller said “tens of millions of dollars” in bonds will have to be issued to finance the repair the massive Fraser sinkhole affecting communities including New Haven and Chesterfield and Lenox townships.

Miller, who took office Jan. 1, said repairs and related costs to the presumably collapsed 11-foot interceptor pipe are “going to cost a lot of money” because “this is a major interceptor in the county.”

“It’s many millions, in the tens of millions of dollars,” she said.

The costs are quickly adding up and the community will really have to come together to help rebuild. Between bonds, Michigan insurance policies, and help from local and state government agencies it is only a matter of time before this area is made whole once again.

A Macomb County drainage district in 2009 took over ownership of the pipe under 15 Mile Road so it is responsible to pay for its repair, she said. The city of Detroit previously owned it.

“I’m not sure why, but we bought it. We own it,” she said.

I can’t help but wonder if the issues that led to the collapse of the pipe existed when Macomb County purchased the drainage system for Detroit. Given the current situation it seems likely that there must have been some signs that the pipe was ailing. What do you think?  Is it too late to ask the city of Detroit for a refund?

The approximately 150,000 rate payers in the 11 communities in the drainage district will be burdened with paying off the bonds, she said. Those include Chesterfield Township, New Haven, Lenox Township, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Clinton Township, Fraser, Harrison Township, Macomb Township, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Utica and Washington Township.

As usual, the tax payers will ultimately be the ones picking up the tab. With the aging infrastructure that exists in our country the potential exists for more calamities like this in the future.

County Executive Mark Hackel agreed the district must pay for the repairs. Additional state and federal funding sources are being explored, the two county officials have said.

Hackel said the affected homeowners also will be reimbursed for their financial losses as a result of the sinkhole, although he said it has not been determined if that money will come from the bond issue or elsewhere.

Officials have speculated fixing the collapsed sewer will cost about $100 million and take 10 months to complete.

I guess only time will tell where all the money will come from to fix this issue. It is shocking how quickly the dollars and cents add up though. $100 million is a pretty shocking number and that the dollar amount has the potential to grow. One thing is clear though…We will rebuild.

Workers are in the process of installing three approximately 3-foot, mostly above-ground pipes along 15 Mile Road to carry sewage as a temporary fix to replace the interceptor. Miller said she expects that to be completed in three to four weeks, at which time experts can begin determine the exact cause of the sinkhole. At that point, workers will be able “to assess the scope of the sinkhole and the situation” with the help of cameras placed into the pipe.

It looks like the local construction crews will be staying busy for the coming weeks and months. Hopefully, they can get to the bottom of this issue in a timely manner and uncover ways to prevent this type of situation from occurring again in the future.

To read the complete article visit the original source: Sinkhole repairs in Macomb County to cost ‘tens of millions of dollars’ | News | voicenews.com

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