PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A large sink hole opened up in Phenix City near Tate's Fine Furniture. Engineers say the hole was caused by a storm drain failure on a pipe that belongs to the city.
City engineer Angel Moore, says the hole is about 25 feet wide and 30 feet deep. Fixing it would require the city to replace the damaged pipe and restructure the storm system in that area. It's a task that she estimates would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"We have a major catastrophic storm drainage failure out there of our storm system on 22nd Avenue," Moore explains.
Moore says the sink hole was caused by the bottom rusting out of a metal drainage pipe and that pipe had been in the ground for about 30 years.
Now, redoing the pipe that caused this massive sink hole and completely filling it up will cost the city between $400 to $500.
"The city now is going to have to go back in and replace that pipe with a reinforced concrete pipe," Moore says. "We're going to bring the whole storm system up so it won't be so deep. It will save us some money by doing that."
Moore adds one of the first steps is replacing the 60 inch pipe that started the problem. Phenix City Council got permission to work on five private properties around 22nd Avenue to use for constructing the new storm line system. Now blocked by barricades and caution tape, the city calls the hole at the end of the parking lot a work in progress.
"The people out there are working with us," Moore assures. "So, they understand that's a problem and they've allowed us to go through this process to really understand what we've got out there."
Moore says the hole opened up about nine months ago and has since been filled in. She adds that the next step is getting bids for the construction of the new storm system.
There's no word yet on how long the project is expected to take to finish.