Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 25, 2018

Sinkhole closes part of North Ninth Street

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo North Ninth Street is closed to northbound traffic at the railroad crossing until further notice.

North Ninth Street between Depot Avenue and the railroad tracks was closed to northbound traffic Wednesday and will remain so until further notice after city crews discovered a sinkhole.

A news release from the city indicated motorists and pedestrians will need to find an alternate route. Road work is expected to last one to two weeks.

Note that it is illegal to cross the railroad tracks driving north in the southbound lane.

The Ledger visited the scene Wednesday afternoon and observed a hole about a foot long and a few inches wide on the east side of North Ninth Street near the railroad tracks.

City administrator Aaron Kooiker said in an interview that the sinkhole was near a storm sewer line, and the city will investigate to determine if a leak from the sewer caused the dirt to wash away and open the sink hole.

Streets superintendent Darrel Bisgard made the decision to close the street. Kooiker said the road was closed because the city doesn’t know how large the cavity is below the road’s surface.

Bisgard said that, based on his investigation prodding the hole with a rod, he estimates it’s 1.5 feet deep and 6 feet in diameter. A street department crew will send a camera down the storm sewer this afternoon to see if the sinkhole was caused by a leak.

“There hasn’t been construction in that area recently, so there’s no other reason for the dirt to move,” Bisgard said.

Bisgard said this is not the first time he’s had to deal with sinkholes, and that they’re usually caused by erosion from a leaky sewer main.

Kooiker noted that running water can erode what seems like solid ground on the surface.

Some states are more prone to sinkholes than others, and Kooiker mentioned that they’re somewhat rare in Iowa. However, Business Insider listed neighboring Missouri as one of the top states prone to sinkholes, along with Florida, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.



Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.