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M-53 is prepped for major repair


Culvert replacement at Hollow Corners slated to take place after spring thaw


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Work crews prepare for construction of a 100-foot utility pole in advance of culvert repairs in June. photo by Tom Wearing.

February 10, 2010
TRI-CITY AREA — Mild weather conditions this week afforded workers a window of opportunity to proceed with more site work for a planned culvert replacement project at the intersection of M-53 (Van Dyke) and Hollow Corners Road.

The project, to repair a culvert that was compromised following last summer's severe rainstorms and flooding, is scheduled to begin in June.

A large sinkhole opened up on the highway's east shoulder last August, requiring a temporary road closing and subsequent lane shift which continues today.

On Monday, sub-contractors for Detroit Edison were digging holes and prepping for the installation of a 100-foot utility pole and new electrical wires at the site.

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MDOT Road Manager Mike Hemmingsen said the culvert replacement has had to be delayed to allow Edison and other utility companies to move their equipment and lines.

"The utility pole has to be constructed high enough and sufficiently out of the way to get a crane in there," said Hemmingsen. "I know people are wondering, but we can't start the repairs until June, after the spring thaw. Historically, water levels go down by then. As part of the process, we are going to have to reroute the (Clinton River) water or pump it during the culvert replacement."

While MDOT officials had originally hoped to keep at least one lane of traffic open during the process, Lopez said it will now be necessary to detour both north- and southbound motorists to alternative routes for a period of two weeks.

"It's purely a matter of the public safety," said Hemmingsen, pointing out that the project will be completed as expeditiously and with as little inconvenience to motorists as possible.

"The road will be have to be closed for the pile driving and installing tiles and sheeting," he said. "There's a lot of vibration that could affect the stability of the area during the process. We don't want traffic going through there at that time. It's better to be safe than sorry."

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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