06/24/10 — Sinkhole won't be fixed until September

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Sinkhole won't be fixed until September

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on June 24, 2010 1:46 PM

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The sinkhole on Spence Avenue has closed the road to thru-traffic for months.

Repairs to a huge pothole on Spence Avenue near its intersection with Elm Street won't begin until late July or early August, city officials say, and likely won't be finished until September.

Although more than three months have passed since the road was closed, city engineer Marty Anderson said this week that he doesn't expect work to start until then because city officials decided the best way to fix the problem was to contract the job out -- which required more red tape.

Longtime wear and excessive rainfall caused an 84-inch corrugated metal pipe beneath the road to fail in March, leaving the road unsupported. The corroded pipe allowed rainwater to undermine the pavement.

Although initially Anderson feared the project of re-paving the road and replacing the pipe might cost the city more than it was worth, the job is instead being contracted out for much less -- the main reason it has taken so long to get the hole repaired.

To contract the project out, Anderson said he first had to create and develop an engineering design that met technical and contract specifications before bidding could begin.

When the design was completed, the city began advertising the project for bids. Anderson said the project will open for bids June 29 and he will take the bids to city council July 6 to determine who will get the contract.

"It takes approximately two weeks to have the contract signed and executed," he said, estimating that it would probably be executed by the last week of July or the first week of August.

Anderson said the repairs will probably begin in late July or early August, and he expects the project to be completed sometime in September.

Until then, drivers will have to continue navigating around the closed section of Spence Avenue.