Giant sinkhole in Columbiana County could be worse than first th - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Giant sinkhole in Columbiana County could be worse than first thought

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A giant sinkhole in Columbiana County could be worse than originally thought.

East Liverpool road crews found a 12 foot wide sinkhole forming on the second street ramp onto State Route 30/39 last week. The ramp has been closed ever since.

Now, city officials know for sure why the hole opened up and it looks like it can only get worse.

A robotic camera was sent in and it found a 24 inch pipe had rusted through. That caused half of the pipe to fall over a foot below the other half of the pipe. The result was a big collapse 40 feet underground.

“Over the years, the bottom has eroded away. That allowed water to start pulling away at the dirt and the fill underneath it and over time it pulled away over 2,500 square feet of material which created that sinkhole,” said Ryan Estell, East Liverpool Service Safety Director.

And now officials say more heavy rains could bring about more sinkholes in that area. “Through the inspection, we found a number of different areas where the bottom was completely eroded away, only the ribbing existed in the pipe, which means there is the possibility that it has been pulling material from other areas,” Estell said.

Now the Ohio Department of Transportation will come in to fully inspect the area to make sure that isn't the case. “Both our construction and design engineers will be out there early next week assessing the situation; finding out what's going on there. Our goal will be to do this as quickly as possible to get that cleaned and opened up and safe for the public hopefully by the time the snow flies,” said Lloyd MacAdam from ODOT.

While city officials say a sinkhole forming on top of the highway could be a future possibility, they say there is no danger to traffic driving that highway at this time.


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