Weekly Feature



2017-11-09 / Front Page

Heavy rains cause massive sinkhole on Main Street

¦ Village Board authorizes $300k for temporary repairs
by KATE PELCZYNSKI
Editor


Several pipes poke out of the 16-foot-deep sinkhole outside of Mikey Dee’s restaurant on Monday. The materials needed to fix the sinkhole were expected to be delivered by Nov. 8. 
Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Several pipes poke out of the 16-foot-deep sinkhole outside of Mikey Dee’s restaurant on Monday. The materials needed to fix the sinkhole were expected to be delivered by Nov. 8. Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The East Aurora Village Board authorized up to $300,000 for emergency repairs following the formation of a sinkhole in the parking lot of Mikey Dee’s restaurant on Sunday night.

Village Engineer Steve Tanner told the board the sinkhole was caused when three inches of rain leaked through and under the pipes, making them buoyant and pushing them out of the ground, creating a 60-foot long, 30-foot wide gap.

Village Administrator Bryan Gadza said utilities to Mikey Dee’s, located at 227 Main St., were shut off for safety reasons, and the owners closed the business.

The issue with this section of the Tannery Brook culvert is not new. In October, the board approved a measure to temporarily make repairs to the culvert, which was rotting in some places because of the heavy rainfall the area experienced this summer.


A giant sinkhole measuring 60 feet long and 30 feet wide formed in the parking lot of Mikey Dee’s restaurant on Sunday. The East Aurora Village Board approved $300,000 to make emergency repairs to the parking lot. 
Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com A giant sinkhole measuring 60 feet long and 30 feet wide formed in the parking lot of Mikey Dee’s restaurant on Sunday. The East Aurora Village Board approved $300,000 to make emergency repairs to the parking lot. Photo by Don DalyPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com During that meeting, Department of Public Works Superintendent Matthew Hoeh recommended affixing a temporary structural patch around the pipe to prevent further rusting. However, with the situation now in a dire state, the board is looking for a faster and more stable solution.

Tanner said the initial stabilization of the culvert involves placing jersey barriers and big blocks in the culvert to prevent the earth from eroding, and to divert the water flow to a pipe that he says is still in “decent shape.”

“The box culvert is just going to give you a much sturdier performance, and it’s traffic-loaded rated,” he said.

Tanner said there are several options when it comes to closing the sinkhole. He believes the best option is to place a sturdier box culvert and connect it to the better pipe. Tanner says there are two sizes, 12 by 6 and 14 by 6. While only the 12 by 6 is available now, in order to avoid any further damage, a 14 by 6 will be needed in the future to connect to a culvert on Main Street.

“We’re fairly confident that the 12-by-6 model will work,” he said. “The box culvert that goes under Main Street is a 14-by-6 box culvert. The Department of Transportation box culvert goes under Main Streetata1percentslope,”hesaid.“Whenyougofrom14by6to 12 by 6, intuitively if you’re at the same slope, it won’t work.”

He added that it would take until December for the 14-by-6 culvert to be delivered; however, the 12-by-6 box would work in the meantime.

“To me, getting the new box culvert in there as quickly as possible and getting it backfilled and compacted, and everything else, is what’s going to be the quickest solution to making sure that there’s no structural damage to the buildings that surround that area,” he said.

Tanner added that around 80 feet of material would be needed to extend the repairs to the corner of the property. The other option, Tanner said, was to purchase 50 feet of piping, at an estimated $50,000. However, he said the cost wouldn’t include backfill materials. But before any work can be done, Tanner said the water needs to recede so crews can get a better look at the damage.

“What I can do now is repair the task at hand and look downstream further to let you know what’s happening,” he said, adding that when he looked at the culvert in August it was not in a state that required any emergency action.

Mayor Alan Kasprzak said he is adamant that the project needs to be done properly.

“The last thing I would want to see is it failing piece by piece by piece,” he said.

The board agreed to go forward with the purchase of the 80 feet of materials, which Tanner said would be delivered by Nov. 8.

The village will hold another work session at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at Village Hall, 571 Main St., East Aurora.

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