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Storm drain box failure causes sinkhole

May 23, 2011

Hickory Public Utilities crews and state-hired contractors say the cause of a U.S. 70 sinkhole is a storm drain junction box failure.

The sinkhole, which happened at about 3 p.m. Thursday, closed traffic between Chili's and Colonial Lanes Bowling Alley. Crews worked Friday and Saturday to stabilize the hole, repair the damaged infrastructure and install a new junction box.

The existing storm drain under U.S. 70 SE is damaged, and N.C. Department of Transportation will contract to bore a new storm drain crossover pipe in the coming days. 

U.S. 70 SE will reopen with temporary paving until the bore is complete and then the contractor will re-establish the work zone, excavate down to the bore and connect the new pipe with the new junction box. 

There are no foreseeable issues with the drainage until the new pipe can be installed and reconnected. 

The sinkhole measured about 18-feet deep by 12-feet wide.

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