County officials approved an emergency repair Friday for the Hamilton Black drain in New Haven.
The Allen County commissioners, who met as the county drainage board in a special meeting, approved the fix unanimously after Jeremy Freimuth of the surveyor's office explained the drain is in “imminent danger of failing.”
The 8-foot-wide pavement alongside Landin Road goes over the Hamilton Black drain, which is a 30-inch plastic pipe installed in 1996 about 10 feet deep.
“During a road improvement project, the city of New Haven constructed a trail, an 8-foot-wide trail, over the top of the tile, and now the tile is failing, creating sinkholes on both sides of the trail,” Freimuth said. “The sidewalk is in imminent danger of collapsing.”
The sinkholes are also along utility lines, a telecommunications line and a gas line, along opposite sides of the pavement.
Larry Weber of the surveyor's office said he and colleagues are unsure what caused it, but the pipe is fractured along the top.
Freimuth said it is clear to see some of the factors that contributed to wear on the tile.
“It clearly states that that cannot be used under pavement or driveways,” he said. “It's that, combined with the depth of the pipe that there might be too much load.”
The pavement will have to be removed and replaced after the pipe is replaced with reinforced concrete pipe. The soil surrounding the pipe will be removed and replaced with a special backfill, Freimuth said, “so the sidewalk doesn't settle and crack over time.”
The section for the emergency placement starts at Landin and Shordon roads and continues 500 feet south. Freimuth suggested a hearing to determine whether more of the pipe needs to be replaced once the threat is fixed.
The emergency project will cost about $133,000. Weber said the department has the funds to pay for it.