CARMEL, Ind. – Crews spent all Friday repairing a sinkhole on 96th Street near College Avenue after a storm water pipe burst Thursday evening due to rainfall.
“It’s just a piece of pipe that has rusted out and failed on us,” Hamilton County Surveyor Kent Ward said. “We had about a three inches rain here and the water pressure found the weak spot in the pipe and just blew it out.”
After the pipe blew, gravel and other material started to collapse on the pipe followed by the asphalt of the roadway.
Crews began the repair process by cleaning out the hole and then stabilizing it so crews could get inside. After that, they replaced the metal pipe with a concrete pipes and filled the hole back in with a concrete and sand mixture.
The crews plan to reopen the intersection completely before sunset Friday.
While this was an isolated incident, Ward said he fears this could be the first sinkhole of many to come in Hamilton County.
The pipe that burst was installed in 1989 and was made of corrugated metal. The material is no longer approved for storm water pipes, but there is still a good amount of it left in Hamilton County.
The county oversees 1,300 miles of pipes and about 5 miles of that are made with corrugated metal, Ward said. He said most of those pipes are in subdivisions around the county and many of them are approaching their 30-year life expectancy, meaning more sink holes could be to come.
“It’s something that will happen again on others throughout the county. We know that. We are anticipating it and it’s just a matter of time,” Ward said. “We try to go in when we have the money and replace certain sections so we get there before it happens.”