Official: Harrison sinkhole ‘biggest I’ve seen’

by Michael Mosher on August 3, 2017

 

After more than a week of work, damage from a sinkhole that opened in the front yard of a Harrison property soon will be fixed.

A roughly 5-feet-in-diameter , 12- to 15-feet-deep sinkhole formed July 21 at 1433 Carlisle St.

“It’s the biggest I’ve seen in my 25 years,” said Randy Martinka, Harrison superintendent of public works.

Martinka said it is the first major sinkhole that has occurred in the township.

He said the sinkhole was caused by the collapse of a decades-old, rusted corrugated steel pipe. The pipe was an extension put in place by a previous owner of the property about the time the house was built.

According to Allegheny County’s real estate records, the house was built in 1978. It suffered no structural damage, township Commissioner Charles Dizard said.

The property’s owner could not be reached for comment.

Dizard said State Pipe Services of Cranberry Township, a company that specializes in sewer repair, is doing the work. The township has contracted State Pipe Services multiple times in the last several years, Dizard said. The company began working the same day the sinkhole formed.

Martinka said 150 feet of new pipe made of 2 1?2-inch-thick polyethylene is expected to have a much longer lifespan than steel.

“That’s not going anywhere for thousands of years,” Martinka said.

In addition to repairing and replacing the pipe for the storm drain, State Pipe will add a manhole catch basin so the drain can be accessed later, if necessary.

The storm drain is connected to two other storm sewer lines running by the new Sheetz convenience store on Freeport Road and empties into Little Bull Creek by Pleasantville Road.

Dizard said he hoped the work would be done by the end of the week. Neither Martinka nor Dizard knew how much the repairs would cost, nor had they been given an estimate.

Tim Kenney, a project manager with State Pipe Services, could not provide cost information.

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