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Published: Wednesday, 8/11/2004

Front Street sewer collapse could cost city $1 million

Toledo City Council last night authorized spending $500,000 to repair a collapsed sewer that caused a 20-foot-wide cave-in on Front Street.

But the cost could reach $1 million, Mayor Jack Ford said. Repairing the damaged sewer will take eight to 12 weeks.

The sinkhole, 650 feet north of Wheeling Street, was identified in July and had widened enough to force the closing of Front by Aug. 4.

The cave-in is blamed on the collapse of a 72-inch sewer pipe known as the East Side Interceptor. It runs 70 feet below the street, the city's engineering services division said.

A city memo said sewage is still flowing through the collapsed interceptor, which serves the entire east side. Part of the emergency expense will include setting up a bypass in case the sewage becomes blocked.

The city has hired Crestline Excavating to make the repairs and Jones & Henry Consulting Engineers to assist in the design and construction.

Mr. Ford said he wants to step up the number of inspections of the city's 80-year-old sewer pipes to predict collapses. The sewer replacement fund has about $23 million and will not affect the city's general fund or capital improvements fund.

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