11th Street sinkhole causes traffic problems

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -- If you're traveling in the downtown Columbus area, be prepared for some delays in your commute as contractors are repairing a sinkhole.

The hole is large enough for a minivan to fit in, and as News Leader Nine found out, this isn't the first time they've had this problem in that area.

If you try to turn on 11th Street in downtown Columbus, you may run into a road block as contractors work on a sinkhole in the middle of the street.

Director of Engineering, Donna Newman said, "It's just the age of the infrastructure and a lot of the materials that were used in those days, they've reached their life span. They're brittle and now caving in."

The portion of road between Broadway and Front Avenue has collapsed because of a failed storm line. Once the city noticed the problem, they started finding a solution.

"Typically what we do is try to look at it from inside first. We take a video camera and run it down the line to see any cave-ins or any holes," Newman told News Leader Nine.

And Newman says this isn't the first time damage like this has been discovered on 11th Street, "I believe we had one in 2001 we repaired on this section of 11th Street, but not at this same location."

Crews should take about a week to repair the hole that is about six feet wide and four feet deep. In the meantime, drivers will have to use detours to avoid the construction site.

"We had 11th Street for this block closed. During rush hour traffic from 4:30 to 6:30 we have worked with the Bradley Company to open Front Avenue on to 14th Street to help with getting the rush hour traffic out of here," Newman explained.

Crews are working on preparing the area to change the location of the manhole covers and repairing the underground pipes. The next step will be to open up that sinkhole so they can start filling it in with pavement.

According to the engineering department, the construction should be wrapped up by the end of the week.