Motorists may have to wait another month before smooth driving returns to Bradford Street near a drainage repair project.
“The contractor is waiting on ordered piping before beginning work on the storm drain repair,” said David Dockery, Gainesville’s public works director.
Once it arrives, workers will have to dig up Bradford again, install the new pipe, refill the area and then repave, Dockery said last week.
A sinkhole was discovered when the city’s public utilities department was wrapping up a sewer project that involves abandoning a decades-old line that runs underneath a building.
That $128,000 project — part of routine efforts by the city to replace and repair aging lines — called for the replacement of 250 feet of 12-inch clay pipe, with a portion of it running from Bradford Street to Northside Drive and under Ahava Full Services Salon, which is off Northside.
Work called for installing about 580 feet of 12-inch PVC pipe, as well as “cutting and plugging” the old clay line, then just leaving it in place.
In early February, as workers “were doing their backfilling and preparing the road for repaving, they noticed some settlement,” said Myron Bennett, engineering/construction division manager for the public utilities department.
“That’s when (the city) took the precaution of closing (Bradford Street) and seeing what this settlement is,” he said.
The problem stemmed from a storm drainage issue, with repairs expected to cost $100,000, Dockery said at the time.
City officials worried that the sinkhole might be deep and wide, but that turned out not to be the case after the digging started.
“It’s not to the extent that it’s a major infrastructure issue,” Dockery said.
A temporary fix was applied until the permanent repair could be made.
“The faulty connection that caused the sinkhole was regrouted and the pipe was patched in the couple of broken spots we found,” Dockery said.
A worker controlled traffic during the sewer line replacement, but until permanent repairs are made, drivers are on their own, either proceeding slowly across the dirt and gravel-packed grade surface or driving around it.