PennDOT implemented a detour Sunday night, originally anticipating work to fill the sinkhole would begin in a month. PennDOT Engineering District 8 Press Officer Dave Thompson exclusively tells CBS 21 News’ Samantha York Thursday the timeline has extended.
“We expect this road might be closed into next spring before we can actually start working on it,” Thompson says.
“That’s- that’s news to me,” New Danville Fire Company Fire Chief Brad Shenk says. 20% of his 25 active volunteer firefighters live on the opposite side of the sinkhole and respond to emergencies from home in a rural town. He says being delayed for a few minutes can make a big difference when time is of the essence, requesting the sinkhole to be filled sooner.
“It’s going to have an adverse effect on our response times to get those members here,” Shenk tells CBS 21’s Samantha York. “We’re a small fire company, we’re counting on everybody to go up at any given time, whoever’s available responds and these guys are going to be delayed by several minutes.”
Community members speculate the sinkhole, which reaches from the middle of the road through a drainage ditch and into adjacent property, has something to do with new construction nearby. However, the cause remains undetermined by officials – which is causing the delay in getting it fixed.
“We’ve assessed what needs to be done, but we need to get some- an agreement in place with a local property owner that’s property is adjacent to our right away,” Thompson explains.
PennDOT says sinkholes are not common for the area and there is no cost estimate on the work currently, but it will be 100% state-funded. 2,200 people on average travel on the roadway on a daily basis.