Commissioner John Schnadenberg hasn’t yet tallied the full cost of repairing
the sinkhole which opened beneath the sidewalk on 23rd Street late last
month, but he knows this much: the bill for de-watering the site, just to
get a contractor into the hole, will run about $12,000.
So he reported to
the Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Monday evening.
The sinkhole formed
during a spectacular rain on Saturday, May 23, when a 36-inch PVC stormwater
pipe failed at the seam just north of Washington Ave. That pipe is part of
the system draining Texas Street, Westchester Village on the Green, Dogwood
Park and at least half of Western Acres, so when all that water entered the
system a vast quantity of dirt and gravel tumbling into the pipe from the
breach was washed away, undermining and then collapsing the sidewalk.
"What a challenge,”
It took a crew
about a week of bypass-pumping just to flush out the stormwater system south
of the sinkhole, he told the board. “A lot of hours after hours manning that
Then, when a
contractor actually began excavating to expose the pipe, “at 10 feet it was
like we hit a spring, there was so much groundwater,” Schnadenberg said. So
another contractor was hired to drop well points around the site to de-water
it. That took three days.
Finally the first
contractor was able to get to the bottom of the sinkhole and repair the
But still there was
work to be done, Schnadenberg said. All of the silt and debris which had
gushed into the system north of the sinkhole had to be jetted out, with the
invaluable assistance of the Utility, which provided the equipment, and of
the Fire Department, which provided a tanker to keep the jetting apparatus
supplied with water.
“Now we’ll have to
camera it and see what the rest of the line looks like,” Schnadenberg
concluded his report.
West Porter Ave. at
In other business,
Member Victoria Wittig had bad news of her own. It appears as though there
may be a pipe failure somewhere in the area of West Porter Ave. and 21st
Street, where it seems that sod is beginning to separate and sink.
that he’s aware of the issue and is looking into it. He did note that the
stormwater pipe in question is very nearly brand new, installed a few years
ago when the ditch on the north side of West Porter Ave. was piped and
Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that some fixes have been made at Easton Park,
where runoff from high ground to the south has been flowing northwest over
the new roadways and causing erosion issues.
brought in a contractor to grade the fields to the south and east and a
large berm and drainage structure were installed.
“I think it will
help stop the runoff from running onto the roads,” O’Dell said.
May in Review
In May the
Stormwater Utility ran a deficit of $4,406 and in the year-to-date is
running a surplus of $44,387.