While failed sewer closes M-51 to through traffic, businesses remain open

Published 11:53 am Monday, December 14, 2020

NILES—Looking out of Taqueria Don Chepe, located at 1140 S. 11th St., co-owner Peter Mendoza looks out at road construction. Monday, on the restaurant’s official fifth year anniversary in business, the road is closed out in front for a sewer repair.

Niles Public Works Director Joe Ray anticipates the closure lasting a day or two.

“We hope to be done today and have it open tomorrow for traffic,” Ray said.

Ray said the city is addressing a sanitary sewer that runs underneath M-51 South, at the intersection of Marion Street. The sewer failed and required immediate attention.

“It’s a bit of a challenge, but we are getting there,” Ray said.

While the road is closed for the repair, Ray said there are detours marked, allowing access to local businesses.

“We are still open,” Mendoza said. “A lot of people are accessing the McDonalds [down the street] pretty easily, so we should be able to maintain business, traffic-wise.”
Mendoza said customers hoping to enjoy their offerings today will be able to access the restaurant by entering from the Dollar Tree parking lot or from the back entrance.

For Mendoza, the road closure is one more challenge in a year without indoor dining.

“For our fifth anniversary, we were thinking about bringing in a mariachi band,” Mendoza said. “We will have to postpone that, but we want to thank everybody for helping keep us open for the past five years. We definitely want to give back to the community for that. Hopefully, we can do something with our food trucks later on to celebrate.”