Crews conduct emergency repair on sinkhole - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Crews conduct emergency repair on sinkhole

Source: City of Waco Source: City of Waco
Source: City of Waco Source: City of Waco

A contractor is conducting an emergency repair on a sinkhole on 9th Street and Morrow Avenue in Waco, in front of the Dewey Community Center.

Public Works Operations learned about the failure of a drainage pipe last month. On Oct. 22 around 3 p.m., a pickup truck driver reported damage to his vehicle to police after driving over the sinkhole. The driver was not injured after the incident. 

James Romero who has lived near the area for 15 years was surprised the sinkhole formed near his home.

"I didn't think we would have a sinkhole around here. I've been here for years and I've never experienced any problems like that," Romero said.

City Engineer Thomas Dahl said it was determined that an emergency repair needed to be conducted, which currently has an estimated cost of $142,000.

"The health and safety of the public was a primary concern and securing that area as well as making a prompt repair," Dahl said.

Dahl said there could be three reasons that caused the sinkhole, including groundwater flow near the Brazos River, structural failure or faulty water lines.

"Where there are water lines, sometimes they begin to leak and gradually remove small sediment and then create voids removing material," Dahl said.

The sinkhole is one of seven the City of Waco has repaired in the past three years. The contributing factor for four of them have involved issues with utilities, according to Jonathan Echols with the Water Utilities Department.

Romero hopes its the only one in his neighborhood.

"Hopefully, it's a one-time episode, especially around this area speaking geologically. I'm not worried about it," Romero said.

Romero added he wished the city would have notified neighbors about the problem. Dahl said the city doesn't go door to door telling people about road closures. However, he said they put barriers and signs to protect pedestrians and vehicles.

The repair, which started on Oct. 25, is expected to be completed this month.

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