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Crews Hope to Have Cutlers Farm Road Reopened This Week

Sinkhole has kept a portion of the road closed for a week and a half.

One of Monroe’s major thoroughfares, Cutlers Farm Road, has been partially closed for over a week after decades of soil erosion underneath led to a sudden sinkhole in the roadway.

Monroe Public Works was made aware of the road hazard around the 400 block of homes on May 9 and shut down a portion of the road in order to excavate and make the necessary repairs.

The current situation was caused by years of erosion and a poor original design, according to Public Works Director Chris Nowacki, who cited problems with the original installation back in the 1960s.

Nowacki explained that the drainage pipes beneath the road — which he described as fitting together like stacked glassware — were not cemented together, allowing sediment to seep through into the pipes and erode away the base of the roadway.

As dirt eroded away into the culvert pipes and disappeared, the structure became strained and eventually the large sinkhole developed on the north side of the road.

Fixing the drainage issue and repairing the site is taking time, though, with good weather, Nowacki hopes that construction will be finished by the end of this week and the road reopened.

“In one week we have eliminated the original drainage issue by installing new pipe, catch basin and outlet control,” he said. “We’re close to half done.”

Crews are finishing up on the north side early this week before moving to the other shoulder, where they also have to contend with a gas main.

“This is a major project that we obviously did not anticipate, but that’s the nature of our business” Nowacki said, stating that the project was unexpected but won’t break the Public Works budget. The department has plenty of room in its contingency fund, he said, though this project can be taken care of within the Public Works general fund.

“Our staff is extremely competent and can handle this,” he added.

Area residents should be able to get to their homes without issue, however thru-traffic is urged to follow the detour signs until work is completed.

Moving from the eastern side of town to the west, Nowacki suggested drivers take Bug Hill Road to Elm Street to West Maiden Lane to Jockey Hollow Road to Pepper Street and back on to Cutlers Farm.
Joel Leneker May 22, 2014 at 07:07 AM
Good job Monroe Public Works!

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