CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Repair crews hope to have a large sinkhole at a busy intersection in Charleston fully repaired sometime Friday.
The Charleston Sanitary Sewer Board filled the 12-foot deep hole at Quarrier and Brooks streets with concrete Thursday. Paving is planned for Friday.
While it may be surprising to see a sinkhole on such a heavily traveled road, it’s something that the sewer board crews deal with all the time.
“It’s a high traffic location, which gets a lot of attention, but we do sinkholes on a regular basis. I wouldn’t say weekly, but we have them often, and we fix them,” Charleston Sewer Board General Manager Larry Roller said.
Plenty of people were left wondering exactly how this could have happened and Roller said officials are just as curious.
“There was a problem with our manhole, which we repaired. There was a problem with a storm line, which we repaired. And one might have caused the other or vice versa. Or there may have been some other cause. We just don’t know,” Roller said.
The problem also could have been caused by water infiltrating through the clay pipes, or even a water main break. Roller says that a majority of the problem probably stems from the fact that some parts of the sewer system that runs through the Capitol City have been there for a long time.
“It’s an old system, it’s time for some of these lines to start failing and they’re doing it. If you’ll recall, we had a major problem at the intersection of Morris and the Boulevard. We had Boulevard shut down, except maybe one lane, for three or four weeks earlier this year. They’re going to continue because the system is in excess of 100 years old,” Roller said.
Keeping the lines up and running isn’t a cheap job, and several in the Charleston area have been replaced. While the Sewer Board does have several more plans to replace old systems, it is expected to take a long time.
“We’re trying to avoid having these problems, but we can’t do it all at once,” Roller said.
The Sewer Board has a five-year, multi-million dollar plan. Crews are currently getting ready to replace lines in Sherwood Forest. In the spring, they are scheduled to start a $15 million project.