Sinkhole closes Second Avenue

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, November 1, 2018


The 100 block of West Second Avenue in downtown Franklin is currently closed and will remain so through Friday due to a sinkhole.

According to Russ Pace, the city’s director of Public Works, Franklin Police dispatch notified his department of the sinkhole around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday. By 7 a.m. Thursday, Pace and Deputy Director Chad Edwards had determined that the failed area was on a sanitary sewer main, located 9 feet beneath the asphalt at the downstream structure located in Franklin Street.

“When a pipe fails, gets a break in it, dirt enters and eventually the surface settles and can even collapse,” Pace explained.

Pace said that because the city does not have the necessary equipment to handle a pipe repair at this depth, Public Works needed to call in its emergency contractor, Lewis Construction of Virginia. By 8 a.m. Thursday, the city had submitted an emergency ticket to Miss Utility and the contractor was on site. Excessive groundwater, however, has hindered the repair, and the contractor’s ability to locate the solid pipe to which the replacement sewer line will need to connect.

A TV inspection truck is expected to arrive today at 5:30 p.m. to attempt to find the pipe.

“This will aid us in determining where to dig in the morning,” Pace said. “Our hope is to dewater and find [the] good pipe, make the repair and open the road by day’s end tomorrow.”

He cautioned, however, that there are many variables that can affect the city’s progress tomorrow. The Tidewater News will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.