IDLE EQUIPMENT — Heavy equipment used in the sewer extension project sits idle over the weekend, giving motorists on US-23 a break from the construction, which is scheduled to take place during the daytime, Monday through Friday, until Aug. 15, according to officials.

AUSABLE TWP. — Local residents will have to wait a few more months to get a reprieve from construction on US 23. According to AuSable Township Superintendent Eric Strayer, who recently met with representatives from Elmer’s and F&V, the sewer extension project is expected to continue through Aug. 15. Work on the project takes place Monday through Friday during the day.

Phase one of the project (from Johnson Road north) has been completed, and Phase two is underway. The project started at the north end of the township during 2021 and work is continuing south to 3008 US 23. The majority of the cost of the project is funded through grants and loans.

Improvements to the township’s lift stations are also part of the project. Modernization of the system includes built in power in case the electricity goes out.

Once the infrastructure work is completed, local residents need to work with a licensed plumber to hook into the system. There is a $25 sewer permit fee that needs to be paid to the township as well as a $150 inspection fee. Property owners are also responsible for having their septic system cleaned and filled with soil or aggregate. Phase one residences have until Sept. 28 to hook into the new sewer system.

As previously reported the construction was marred by the fatal accident that took two lives in Nov. 2021, during Phase one of the project. According to Strayer, the traffic lights that were installed by the Michigan Department of Transportation after the accident have been working well for the most part. However, some drivers are not stopping at the red light which has led to the Oscoda Township Police issuing tickets. The traffic lights will travel south to coincide with movement of the project.

Work on the extension of the Iosco Exploration Trail through AuSable Township is dependent on the sewer extension project. Spicer Engineering is still working on the re-engineering of the portion of the trail that is located within Phase one of the sewer project. The re-engineering was necessary due to the changes resulting from the sewer project. Work on the trail is expected to begin towards the end of 2022, if the Aug. 15 sewer project completion date is met, with a trail completion date sometime in 2023.

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