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Published: Saturday, 8/7/2004

Front St. sinkhole fix will be deep, costly

Fixing the cause of a sinkhole on Front Street is going to require an even bigger, deeper hole, a city official said yesterday.

And how long it will take to repair the broken sewer tunnel 69 feet below the surface, or whether part of Front can reopen before then, remains to be determined, said Bill Franklin, the city's assistant chief operating officer.

Mr. Franklin said city utilities and engineering administrators met yesterday morning to discuss options.

"It's going to be several weeks, certainly," Mr. Franklin said, estimating that the repair's cost will run into six figures. "It's a very major repair. It's going to be a large project."

Crestline Paving of Toledo has begun mobilizing equipment to the sinkhole site on Front near its bridge over Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, where a hole eight feet across and 25 feet deep has opened up.

City officials plan to submit emergency legislation to city council either Tuesday or at its following meeting to award a repair contract to Crestline, Mr. Franklin said.

Once a shaft to the broken 72-inch East Side Interceptor is dug and stabilized, officials will have a better idea of how long the work will take and whether any lanes on Front can reopen before completion.

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