The Department of Public Works crews returned to downtown Burlington on Wednesday afternoon to continue work on a sinkhole they were unable to fill Tuesday night.
The sinkhole re-emerged Tuesday after crews filled the hole in the center of Battery Street on Monday. Crews reopened the street to traffic Tuesday morning — only to see the patched asphalt crumble again Tuesday afternoon. Director of Public Works Steve Goodkind had projected that the sinkhole would be compaction grouted again by Tuesday night.
Public Works crews braved a steady rain shower in the early afternoon Wednesday, trying to keep water from flowing into the hole by forming a sandbag barrier around it.
Goodkind said crews are trying to deal with the damaged liner by putting a bypass line into the pipe. This should help manage the flow through the damaged liner, he said.
“The pipe without the liner on it is more vulnerable than it was before,” Goodkind said Tuesday.
Traffic on Battery Street will continue to flow in both directions, with one northbound and one southbound lane. Goodkind said the repairs should not interfere with the fireworks display planned for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday over the Burlington harbor.
“We’ll be out of there in probably three to four hours, and we’ll be done with it for now,” Goodkind said around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Goodkind said the sinkhole was caused in part by defective liner material. The liner cost about $160,000 when it was put in two or three years ago, Goodkind said. When Public Works checked the pipe liner in May, it appeared to be in good condition. Pipe lining is a good technique for fixing a pipe, because replacing a pipe costs up to 10 times more, he said.
Layne Inliner, a wastewater infrastructure renewal contractor, will be in Burlington on Monday morning to inspect the liner damage. The cost of the sinkhole repairs as well as the amount of time they will take remain undetermined.
Goodkind said he hopes the work done Wednesday will hold until Layne Inliner arrives on Monday.
“That’s the plan, but you never know,” Goodkind said.