ODOT hopes to have sinkhole fixed by winter

EAST LIVERPOOL – Repairs to a sinkhole that opened up alongside the Second Street ramp to U.S. Route 30/state Route 39 last week should be completed by winter, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), which has officially taken over the project.

In a press release Monday, ODOT officials said it was “obvious” the repairs would be too extensive for the city to handle and exceeds the city’s routine maintenance responsibilities.

Lloyd MacAdam, ODOT District 11 deputy director said that, after ODOT was contacted about the sinkhole, it established an official detour last Friday and installed concrete barriers around the sinkhole for safety.

State design and construction engineers visited the site Monday to begin assessing what will be necessary to repair the subsurface drainage structure failure and the cost.

“We are hopeful we can complete repairs and reopen this ramp before winter,” MacAdam said.

Meanwhile, from the Jackson Street intersection and the Routes 30/39 westbound on-ramp, traffic is being detoured west on the Routes 30/39 westbound on-ramp to the state Routes 7/39 west (Wellsville) off-ramp to West Eighth Street, then east on the U.S. 30/SR 39 on-ramp.

Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell told City Council Monday night that, while ODOT has officially taken over the project, the city is still responsible for a 20 percent matching share of the cost.

He said he has contacted state legislators to ask for possible financial assistance, saying, “The city just can’t afford that cost.”

A robotic camera was used by the city to determine that a storm sewer has collapsed underground, causing the sinkhole. The storm sewer runs from Walnut Street to near the Broadway Wharf, and Estell told council that a number of spots have rusted through, causing ODOT’s engineers to look at the integrity of the pipe.

City officials have stressed the need for the public to stay away from the sinkhole, which they have estimated to be 40 feet deep and dangerous.