Sinkhole report due out

by Michael Mosher on July 20, 2012

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Rob Mills said he wants to make sure that once the crater-sized sinkholes are repaired at the Hernando County Airport they will not reopen in the future.

That’s why the airport supervisor is spending $15,000 on a geo-technical firm to do a series of ground-penetrating radar tests, drilling and other tests to determine the extent of the holes and the sub-structure of the ground.

“When we fix this we want to make sure we do it all at one time,” he said.

Mills said he is using airport funds to pay Central Testing Labs, which is already under contract with the county.

No general fund money will be spent on the report, which is expected in the next couple weeks, he said.

Because Hernando County has been declared a disaster area, Mills is hopeful the airport will be reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mills said the extra precautions are necessary because of the heavy airplane traffic on the taxiway.

Tropical Storm Debby caused numerous sinkholes to open up in Hernando County after it rolled through the area the weekend of June 23.

Three of them at the airport are huge and extend from one of the entrances to the Army Air National Guard facility, running southwest and crossing the taxiway and into an infield area.

The taxiway serves as a kind of frontage road that parallels the runway and is used by pilots to access the latter.

One of the biggest sinkholes measures about 12 feet deep and 40 feet across.

The report will include recommendations to fix the voids, which Mills earlier estimated to be in the $60,000 to $70,000 range.

Figuring about two or three weeks of repairs, the airport is about 60 days out from having the entire situation resolved, he said.

Full article…here

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