EAST LIVERPOOL - Images from a robotic camera has confirmed that a sinkhole on the Second Street entrance ramp to state Route 30/39 was, indeed, caused by a collapsed storm sewer drain pipe, city officials reported Thursday.
Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell said images from the camera showed the 24-inch corrugated pipe had rusted through, causing half of the pipe to fall between 12-18 inches below the other half and allowing rocks and debris to collect on top, leaving the asphalt on the berm above unsupported and causing it to cave in.
While efforts were made to use the wastewater department's camera to try and locate the source of the problem, Estell said the pipe proved to be too large and the outside company had to be hired to bring in the robotic camera.
This image shows the break in a 24-inch storm sewer pipe that East Liverpool officials said Thursday was the cause of a large sinkhole opening up on the Second Street entrance ramp to state Route 30/39. (Submitted photo)
Concerned that the camera might get hung up somewhere down below ground, Deputy Service-Safety Director Dan Galeoti at one point had to climb down through the manhole and guide the camera into the area it needed to go, Estell said.
The pipe is located more than 40 feet from the top of the road surface and travels from Walnut Street to near the Broadway Wharf. Estell said the corrugated pipe was in place before the Ohio Department of Transportation reconfigured the highway to by-pass the downtown, essentially burying the pipe under 40 feet of material.
He said a link to the camera images are being sent to ODOT and that, while the city is responsible for maintaining the highway, he will be emphasizing that the collapsed pipe and sinkhole are more than a maintenance issue.
Meanwhile, the Second Street ramp remains closed to traffic, and officials reiterated that the sinkhole is dangerous and must be avoided.