Randy Allen stands behind his work as he removes barriers from State Rt. 64 on the north end of Haskins, Ohio.
HASKINS - The cavernous sinkhole at State Rt. 64 and King Road has been repaired and the long-closed intersection reopened.
Ohio Department of Transportation workers removed the barricades at 1 p.m. yesterday and, for the first time since Feb. 1, motorists were able to travel through Haskins instead of being detoured around the village and suffering major inconvenience.
The closure has hurt businesses.
The beauticians at the Pear Tree salon down the street breathed a sigh of relief when they were told of the reopening.
"This has definitely been bad for our customers," Jennifer Hyder said. "I had one in Sylvania who called all the time and asked if the road was open yet."
Donna Bellaire, who was in Ms. Hyder's chair having her hair colored, said she no longer would have to set out early from her home in Lambertville to be on time for her appointments.
The problem began when a private waterline running beneath the intersection ruptured and undermined the roadway, causing the pavement to collapse into a hole big enough to swallow a car.
An emergency repair was made to the waterline, but ODOT considered the job a temporary patch and insisted the line be relocated before the intersection was rebuilt.
That meant the Northwestern Water and Sewer District had to take possession of the line and move it, a time-consuming procedure.
Once that was accomplished, the district then had to secure permission from the city of Bowling Green to tap into its water main.
Meanwhile, Haskins residents and businesses suffered. The detour doubled the distance to Waterville, which normally is three miles.
The $150,512 repair project was awarded to Schalk Brothers Inc., of Tiffin and took a little more than a month to complete.
Project Manager Eric Laeng said the sinkhole was excavated and the old culvert pipe running diagonally beneath the intersection removed.
A new culvert was installed along with fresh concrete inlet pads, and the roadway was rebuilt.
The first vehicle to go through the intersection in almost seven months was a riding lawn mower driven by Jim Bernthisel.
He said he has used the lawn mower for transportation since breaking his right foot and was driving to his home on Route 64.
Contact Carl Ryan at: