Sinkhole discovered on National Street

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, March 3, 2015

National Street sinkhole

National Street sinkhole


030315-National Street sinkholeWEB

The westbound lane of National Street near its intersection with Washington Street is closed after city sewer department workers discovered a 2-foot deep sinkhole in the street caused by a broken 100-year-old storm drainpipe.

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“It’s one of the older ones,” Sewer department supervisor Willie McCroy said Monday afternoon. He said the hole was discovered by a sewer department worker who was traveling in the area. He added the broken clay pipe could be about 12 to 13 feet under the ground and is located about 80 feet south of a city manhole cover on Washington Street.

He said city employees used a video camera to examine the damage, adding, “it was crushed.”

McCroy did not know when the line would be fixed, because he will have to see what other utilities are under the street in that area. The city’s underground utilities include water, gas and sanitary sewer lines. Public Works Director Garnet Van Norman said he did not know if the city would have to hire a private contractor to make the repairs.

City employees are unable to work on utility lines below 9 feet because they do not have the training or the equipment to work at the deeper work sites.

“I have not had the chance to go look at it yet,” Van Norman said. “It may not be that deep and we can work on it, but I don’t know at this point.”

The discovery comes about a week after city workers found a broken 100-year-old, 6-inch waterline under the intersection of Bowmar Avenue and Letitia Street in the same spot where a broken 108-year-old sewer line was repaired in 2013.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday approved a resolution declaring an emergency and allowing Van Norman to hire Walker & Wells of Tallulah, La., to fix the break and replace a valve on the line. The contractors are working on the waterline, Van Norman said.

When workers removed the paving to repair the sewer line in 2013, they discovered a 10-foot deep cavern between the pipe and the street caused when dirt was sucked from under the street through the broken sewer pipe.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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