Work to repair sinkhole in East End continues

Work to repair sinkhole in East End continues

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A geotechnical engineer thinks he might know what caused the massive water main break on Riverside Drive over the weekend.

The break is suspected of having happened between 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on a 60″ water transmission line, a Cincinnati Water Works official says.

Joe Kowalski, who is a professional engineer, says the cause of the break could be due to parts of the roadway moving while others were not.

“We have a five-foot diameter water pipe, which is steel, but if you have pieces of the roadway that are moving and other pieces are not moving then the pipe can just get sheared,” explains Kowalski.

In February 2017, our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer published a story about a $10 million fix needed for the East End hillside.

Kowalski says the project was completed but it didn’t stretch as far as the 2400 block of Riverside Drive.

Despite the fact the main water line was made of steel and five feet in diameter, Kowalski says a mountain of mud will win over a man-made pipe every time.

“It would no way be capable of being able to hold back the hillside,” says Kowalski. “There’s millions of tons of soil material that would just break that pipe like a twig.”

Cincinnati Water Works says repairs will begin on Jan. 6 and will likely take two to three months to complete.

Cincinnati Police says until it is fixed, people can expect to see large trucks and heavy traffic on Columbia Parkway, especially during the rush hours.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works says a previously issued boil water advisory is no longer in effect.

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