Factors leading to Hwy. 174 sinkhole released
Published Friday, December 7, 2012 2:40PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2012 9:38PM EST
We're getting more answers about what happened when a sinkhole swallowed a car on Highway 174 in Orleans back in September.
A full report on the cause was released Friday and one of the factors was a failed storm pipe which was installed nearly 40 years ago.
Questions are also being raised about the existing records, the relining work done just before the storm sewer collapse, and the materials used to make the failed pipe.
There was a video inspection of the pipe completed in the summer of 2011.
According to an independent review, the city should have followed up with a physical inspection for a more accurate look at the extent of the pipe damage.
Additionally, the city's inventory indicated that whole pipe was made of galvanized steel. But the particular section that caved in was not. An Independent consultant says poor records are to blame.
Juan Pedro Unger was driving in the eastbound lanes of Highway 174 in early September when he spotted the sinkhole. By that time it was too late and his 2009 Hyundai Accent was swallowed by the hole.
The aftermath was weeks of traffic chaos as an entire eastbound section of the highway was closed. A new storm pipe had to be shipped in and the damaged sewer was replaced.
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