Work Continues on Large Hole on Route 29

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari
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July 13, 2006

There is still a delay in traffic along Rt. 29 North after V-DOT crews work over time to fill that hole in the road a second time. There are several questions about the problems with the road, like what went wrong? And what s its going to cost to fix it?

This has been more than just a big headache for drivers. People want to know what went wrong here--why this hole opened up again just months after V-DOT fixed the first hole..

Progress repairing a giant hole on Route 29 North is moving forward as V-DOT works to fill the gap for the second time.

"I thought they fixed this about six months ago," said driver Ira Bellew.

A lot of people thought that same thing as V-DOT was in the same boat fixing a 30-foot deep hole in the same spot last November.

"We knew we were making a temporary fix at the time and were working on the permanent fix. As it turned out with the rains that came recently it didn't hold," said Jim Utterback, V-DOT Residency Administrator.

Leaky underground pipes caused the first hole. Later, the sealant V-DOT used to fix that leak didn't hold up. All that work may have gone down the drain.

"It's difficult to joint together a plastic pipe and a steel pipe. So they were actually butted together, there was a steel band that went around that, and that was sealed. So there was sealant that went around that, and that did not hold," said Utterback.

Yesterday, that leak caused the pavement to give way and produce a 10-foot hole. Video from a robotic camera shows you the damage under round. Now V-DOT and an independent contractor have been working overtime to fix it.

"I hope that they get this taken care of this time so we don't have to go through this again," said Toni Hoover, Owner of Hot Spring Spas.

This again is a temporary fix and there are no guarantees...

"Guarantee is a difficult word. I'm confident that what we've done now, we're not going to have a problem at that location," said Utterback.

The first fix in November cost $88,000, this re-fix cost $30,000. This is still just a temporary fix, they are working on the permanent solution which is to eventually replace the 50-year-old pipes underneath.

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