Sinkhole repairs to cost city as much as $100,000

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

The sinkhole that swallowed a car at a central Toledo intersection in July will cut a deep hole in the city's budget.

Toledo City Council next week could vote to spend $73,136.08 from the city's sanitary sewer operating fund to pay Schumaker Brothers Construction for emergency repair of the collapsed sewer line that caused the sinkhole near Bancroft Street and Detroit Avenue. The job was awarded to the company without competitive bidding.

The total cost could reach $100,000, which includes the cost of city employee labor expenses.

"While this repair was a joint effort involving many city of Toledo departments, due to the size and depth of the repair ...[the city] required the expertise and equipment available through a private contractor," city records said.

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City spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei said the sinkhole was caused by the collapse of combined sanitary and storm sewers. She called the break the largest in recent city history. Officials at the scene estimated the hole to be about 20 feet deep. It looked to be about two car lengths long and two car widths wide.

The sewers — one 30 inches in diameter and the other 36 inches in diameter — were made of brick and constructed in 1891.

A 6-inch cast-iron water main from 1895 was broken as the car and street asphalt fell into the hole, she said.

Pamela Knox, 60, the principal at Glendale-Feilbach Elementary School, whose car fell into the sinkhole, was taken to Toledo Hospital after being rescued for evaluation and released later that day.