As the long-awaited drainage project starts to wind down in the City of Georgetown, a new hole formed this week in the area where the work is taking place.
However, Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville says the crater — under a traffic light at the intersection of Highmarket and Fraser Streets — is not a sinkhole like the ones that caused all the damage last year.
It is “actually a cave-in on an abandoned storm-drain line,” Scoville said Wednesday afternoon.
“The recently abandoned stormdrain line actually had a small hole in the side of it that allowed the sublayer of the highway and about a 2 feet diameter section of asphalt to cave into the stormdrain. The contractor working for SCDOT has backfilled the hole with flowable fill and the problem has been corrected. A steel plate will remain over the hole until the cement in the flowable fill has cured for traffic,” he said.
See HOLE, Page 2A
The area was noticed by some people Tuesday night but attended to by the city Wednesday morning.
According to Georgetown resident Lee Padgett, another small sinkhole formed in the 600 block of Duke Street last week.
Lane Mixon, head of the city’s water utilities, said that hole was caused by a hole in a pipe under the roadway and has been repaired.
Mixon said the cave-in on Highmarket Street is only indirectly connected to the drainage project because the “dewatering” process, which some feel caused last year’s sinkholes, has not started back.
Complete in September?
Mixon said the city is now being told by SCDOT officials the drainage project is expected to be complete by the end of September.
There have been a series of deadlines set for the project.
Mixon said all the pipe work is complete on Fraser Street and crews will be on hand today or early next week to properly repave the highway.
After that the attention will shift to the creation of the retention pond and completion of the pump station around City Hall.
The holdup has been the dewatering process. That is the removal of underground water around the work area. It must be done in order to seal off all the piling that has taken place on the Front Street and Dozier Street sides of the project.
Dewatering was taking place last year when large sinkholes formed in the area. The sinkholes completely destroyed one building — Parrish Place — and damaged others.
Mixon said the city has been waiting since early June for that process to resume.
He said SCDOT officials have been reviewing data around the pilings and are not yet comfortable in restarting the dewatering.
“I guess it’s good they are taking their time to make sure they are doing the right thing,” Mixon said.
The Georgetown Times attempted to speak with someone from the SCDOT for further comment but the calls were not returned Thursday.
Mixon said the state cannot resume the water removal until all the pilings are sealed.
He said the SCDOT will give 48 hours’ notice before the dewatering resumes.
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