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Tuesday August 4th, 2015 7:45AM

DOT announces plans to repair Gainesville sinkhole

By Alyson Shields Reporter
GAINESVILLE - A sinkhole that opened up yesterday in a Gainesville parking lot is expected to be repaired by August 20, according to a release from the state Department of Transportation.<br /> <br /> DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said that excavation will begin tomorrow morning at the intersection of John Morrow (SR 53) and Pearl Nix parkways. Pope says the crews will also determine the root cause of the sink hole and order new drainage structures for the area. <br /> <br /> "Once we get the asphalt out of the way tomorrow, we can get our DOT maintenance engineers in there and they can really get a good handle on the root cause of the sinkhole," Pope said.<br /> <br /> Pope explained that sinkholes are caused by water eroding the supporting material of the parking lot, and they believe it is because of a drainage structure. "What we don't know is which pipe, what exactly happened to the pipe, how big the pipe was and how much of the pipe is broken."<br /> <br /> The following day, August 7, the drainage structures will be made and delivered. On the 11th, the structures will be installed. On the 14th, crews will begin back-filling around drainage structures and rebuilding up to the grade of the existing parking lot and lastly, pave and stripe the lot.<br /> <br /> Pope says the sinkhole is unusual because it was partially on private property and partially on DOT rights of way. <br /> <br /> "The property owner is responsible for part of the repairs," Pope said. "That's why developing this plan took a little bit longer than it normally would take, because it is not all DOT property and we have been working with the property owner to first of all make sure we understand where that property line is and what is state right of way and what is private property."<br /> <br /> Access to the shopping center with Barry Menswear and Curves from Pearl Nix Parkway will be closed, however, access from John Morrow Parkway will be open.<br />
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