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Saturday, July 12, 2014
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Published: Friday, 7/5/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Sewer repairs start after intersection collapse

Southbound Detroit closed during work

BY SAM GANS
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Workers assess the sinkhole at Bancroft Street and Detroit Avenue on Friday. The city does not yet know what the repairs will cost. Workers assess the sinkhole at Bancroft Street and Detroit Avenue on Friday. The city does not yet know what the repairs will cost.
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Detroit Avenue’s northbound lanes reopened Friday near a cave-in blamed on a sewer collapse, but the southbound lanes remained closed through the area while repairs continue.

City crews were expected to work through the weekend to repair two sewer pipes and a 6-inch water main that broke when a large sinkhole washed out around the failed sewer Wednesday morning, trapping a driver whose car fell into the void.

The eastbound right lane also remains closed on Bancroft Street at Detroit, along with a westbound left-turn lane. City officials said that absent any unexpected repair needs, pavement reconstruction should start Tuesday.

A boil-water advisory for 25 nearby utility customers who briefly lost service Wednesday is expected to expire Sunday.

Sewer service was to be restored Friday along the damaged 30-inch and 36-inch pipes involved in the cave-in, but crews were expected to remain at the scene today and Sunday to clean debris from the sewers, monitor their flow, and continue the water-main repairs.

On Monday, workers expect to transfer water service back to the main from a bypass pump, while contractors for AT&T and Columbia Gas are scheduled to check for damage to those companies’ underground utilities.

Pamela Knox, 60, of Toledo was driving on Detroit when the sinkhole swallowed her car Wednesday. After being rescued, she was taken to Toledo Hospital for precautionary evaluation and released later that day.

City spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei said the city is self-insured, and funds for repairs will come from a water or sewer emergency fund. The cave-in’s cost to the city remains unknown, she said.

Ms. Sorgenfrei said the city has had sewer collapses where smaller items, such as tires, fall into a hole. Usually, those cases are on much smaller sewer lines.

“Certainly a cave-in this size is definitely out of the norm,” she said. “And to not have some visual sign in advance that there was that massive of a problem is unusual.”



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