By Frank Lewis
Could a sinkhole at pump station number 2 be the final repair that will lead to the levee certification for the city of Portsmouth? That’s the case, according to Portsmouth Wastewater Director Rick Duncan.
“We went to city council with that on March 30 to get an authorization to go ahead and fix that sink hole,” Duncan said. “That is where a piece of pipe separated under the levee, allowing dirt to fall into it. So we have to repair that pipe and back fill in the sunken area. That is the only hold-up at this point. Everything else has been completed. Both engineers are ready to certify everything except for that one particular point.”
The city of Portsmouth has spent years working on the project, while the village of New Boston waits. New Boston completed the work on their portion of the levee months ago, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must certify them together. Duncan says a sinkhole remains the one issue.
On Monday night, Portsmouth City Council will appropriate $25,000 from the unappropriated monies in Flood Defense Fund 265 to Flood Defense Miscellaneous Services to repair the sinkhole which is located adjacent to the sluice gate well for pump station 2 and that should do it. The legislation had been tabled while the city investigated as to whether the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) would help finance the repair since, according to Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen, the problem occurred when ODOT moved the levee.
Allen said the original estimate to repair that sinkhole was approximately $18,000, so city council was asked to appropriate $25,000. The engineering firm that was recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers actually went down into the structure and looked at the pipe and found it was a corrugated metal pipe and the bottom of the pipe is rusted out.
Duncan said he was going to submit the final report to FEMA on everything except for the repair of the sink hole.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.