By ROBERT CONNELLY
A sinkhole in the township on New Road, just east of Raccoon Road, received funding weeks ago and will be fixed soon.
Mahoning County Engineer Patrick T. Ginnetti said the project is valued at about $80,000, with 75 percent of funding coming from the Ohio Public Works Commission’s emergency funding. The other 25 percent will be paid by Ginnetti’s office and was announced weeks ago.
“Part of the delay is whenever you are dealing with multiple funding sources, you deal with a lot paperwork,” Ginnetti said.
He added that once the office “had official word that the money was being awarded, we were able to go out to bid.”
The project was awarded to Insight Pipe Contracting of Harmony, Pa., on Aug. 1 with a contract value of $80,700.
As far as how the sinkhole occurred, Ginnetti said, “That’s one of those things where I inherited an aging infrastructure ... [it’s] been happening more and more, so it’s hard to keep up with the aging infrastructure.”
He added that the bottom of a storm sewer under the pavement rusted away over time. As the water rushed through the aging pipe, “it wore out the bottom, causing the road to fail.”
He expects the project to take a week or two, depending on the weather, to repair the sinkhole that is about 4 feet across, 20 feet long, and 31/2 to 4 feet deep.
The road is safe to drive on as barrels surround the sinkhole in the eastbound driving lane.
Austintown zoning inspector Darren Crivelli said New Road is a county road. “We’re completely out of the loop on it.”
Crivelli added the sinkhole has probably been there for two months, going on three months.
Donna McGeehen, a resident of Burkey Road, lives not too far from the sinkhole. She said, “It’s just getting gradually bigger and barrels are inside of it now.”
“I try to avoid it. Anytime I can, I will drive down Raccoon [Road], but as far as New Road, I avoid it because I don’t want to end up in any sinkhole,” she said.
When she found out crews will be fixing it soon after clearing paperwork hurdles, McGeehen said, “It’s about time ... the sooner they get it fixed, the safer everyone will be.”