Sinkhole at Marietta culvert

A large sinkhole that developed Wednesday above a deteriorating culvert on Channel Lane in Marietta has resulted in approximately 50 feet of the roadway being reduced to one lane of traffic.

City streets superintendent Todd Stockel said the lane would likely remain closed as a precaution until the culvert, which carries Goose Run under Channel Lane, can be repaired.

The corrugated steel culvert was scheduled to be re-lined in 2012 after the city engineering department declared the repair to be at the top of a list of projects for that year. But the repair has been delayed for a couple of years.

In November 2011 former engineering department project manager Jim Finley said at that time the worst section of the culvert had completely deteriorated and backfill was falling through the culvert wall.

Signs were also posted along Channel Lane in 2011, prohibiting truck traffic from crossing the culvert until repairs could be made.

City engineer Joe Tucker had estimated the cost to re-line the culvert at the time could be around $85,000.

Last July city council approved $8,200 for preliminary engineering services from Pickering Associates of Parkersburg to develop plans for lining the deteriorating culvert.

At that time project manager Jarrod Schultheisz said the engineering department was trying to find a way to repair the culvert without having to tear it completely out which would require closing the roadway to traffic for some time.

Tucker noted in 2013 that most of Channel Lane was resurfaced in 2012, but the section crossing the culvert has not been resurfaced because he was concerned that heavy paving equipment could cause major damage to the culvert. He said the proposed repair would include lining the existing corrugated pipe with a layer of smooth concrete that would not only reinforce the pipe, but would also allow better flow of water through the culvert.