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Broken Sewer Lateral Cause Of Sinkholes In City

Workers are pictured Tuesday fixing a faulty sewer lateral along East Second Street that caused a sinkhole at 841 E. Second St. Repairs will be done at another sinkhole at 926 E. Second St. today. P-J photo by Nikk Holland

The second of two sinkholes that opened along East Second Street in Jamestown will be repaired today, after one was fixed Tuesday.

Jeff Lehman, city public works director, said the sinkholes have been caused by faulty sewer laterals, with one occurring on the west bound lane at 841 E. Second St., and the second happening in the east bound lane at 926 E. Second St. He said because East Second Street is so heavily traveled, the city declared the situation an emergency and hired a contractor to make the repairs. He added that the faulty sewer lateral is a private issue, so the property owners will be charged for the repairs.

Lehman said the repairs at 841 E. Second St. were done on Tuesday with 926 E. Second St. set to be fixed today. He said when there is a faulty sewer lateral the pipe breaks under the highway and sewage gets into the soil, which starts to leave a void under the road. He added in some areas of the city there are clay pipes that give way over time.

“Second Street with the heavy traffic, the hole starts to settle,” Lehman said. “We didn’t know what was eroding the road until we go into dig it up.”

Lehman said to fix the sinkhole, a hole is dug to fix the sewer lateral and gravel material is then packed into the hole, which will be patched up with asphalt.

The first report of a sinkhole occurred at 841 E. Second St. on June 18 with the other hole popping up a couple days ago.

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