Giant Sinkhole in Martins Ferry to be Repaired

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 The city has secured funding, and the massive project will go out for bid within the next two weeks.

Work should get under way this summer.

Residents say it’s been an ongoing problem for almost 15 years.

Last October, it all came to a head when the street collapsed, revealing a massive sinkhole.

For years, people believed it was mine subsidence.

But tests proved otherwise.

“It was surface water and runoff,” said Chris Cleary, city service director. “The location is actually a natural drainage area for the hill.”

Two houses will be torn down.

One was vacant for a long time, and the other was the home of John Burch and his wife.

“Mr. Burch has moved out and that’s a good story,” said Cleary. “He’s moved out into a new house just a couple blocks away but still in the neighborhood. My understanding is he’s doing well and everything’s OK.”

Residents say they’re now ready and eager for the big fix, even if it means three to six months of construction and heavy equipment.

“It’s not going to take forever,” said Amber Fleming of Martins Ferry. “I’d rather have it be in the way and have construction for a while than having it look like this all the time.”

All the utilities for the neighborhood are located right on North 8th Street.

“We have of course electric and telephone and cable above ground,” Cleary noted. “We have two water lines–a 12-inch and a six-inch–below the ground, and two sewer lines, one sanitary and one storm, right in the area.”

They will stabilize the hillside with pilings, every three feet, going 45 feet deep, and lots of concrete.

Now they just hope it happens before another big storm.

“And we were really afraid this past week because of the weather,” said Frank Carroll of North 8th Street.

Another sinkhole, at Jaycee Manor, was caused by an eroding culvert pipe.

City officials say it is scheduled to be repaired this week.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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