City approves $15.6 million for sinkhole repair - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City approves $15.6 million for sinkhole repair

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The Lubbock City Council voted to begin construction on a sinking roadway Thursday, plugging a sinkhole that threatens to damage homes and cost millions of city dollars.

The construction will fix poor work covering a sewer line beneath 98th Street. Soil beneath the pavement has created big cracks and a slope near 98th and Elkhart Avenue. The city says the entire project will cost $15.6 million.

Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin said, "Something that was done back in the 1990's and was installed incorrectly can come back and have seriously expensive consequences in the future. In recent years we have completely changed the compaction standards for putting in pipelines."

"That means a lot of people paid taxes just to redo 98th street and we need to make sure we use their money efficiently," Councilman Todd Klein said. Mayor Martin says the council is making every effort to make sure there are no repeat mistakes. 

Mayor Martin says $19 million was initially set aside for the project - which included the purchase of several homes on the damaged street.

The $15.6 million covers the cost of engineering, right of way acquisition, the purchase of several home sin the damaged area, fixing the ditch, and rebuilding 98th street.

"We always new it was going to be a big project but we didn't know exactly how much it would cost until we got under the soil to see how serious the damage was," City Engineer Wood Franklin said.

The construction alone is the biggest part of the cost. "The construction that approved today is $9.8 million," Mayor Martin explained.

Several council members made comments in the city council meeting today to address making sure more mistakes are not made in the future. "Are we doing adequate testing? Making sure there is supervision as the work is done so were not in this situation ever again?" Councilman Klein continued.

"I don't anticipate any mistake, it will be done right," Mayor Martin said.

Allen Butler construction will be the contractor for the project. Construction is expected to take 320 days and be completed by December of next year.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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