Neighborhood upset over sinkhole repair delays

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A dangerous problem in Savannah's Baldwin Park neighborhood has residents frustrated. Sinkholes are causing headaches for neighbors.

The city of Savannah has $2 million set aside for sewage pipe repairs, and when those pipes collapse, sinkholes happen.

Fixing the pipes, and repairing the sinkholes can take time. The issue for residents is fixing the holes for good. They say sinkholes don't ever seem to go away.

Vehicles drive by to avoid them. Neighbors are sick of it.

"It's absolutely rediculous," Mary Osborne told WTOC.

Osborne represents the neighborhood on the Savannah City Council. She also lives a few houses from the 41st Street sinkhole.

"There have been sinkholes in that same place and also on the street and the other side by Reynolds and 41st over and over again," Osborne said. "That sinkhole is there every year, annually."

"The residents are sick and tired of it. You have to make sure cars park appropriately so cars have passage and this is not fair to let this go on so long," she said.

The City of Savannah has put these warning blockades over the sinkhole. Rain or shine, neighbors have an issue with the sinkholes. You can actually put your foot and part of your leg all the way inside it. They are deeper than they appear.

Some people worry kids could fall or get hurt with the sinkholes sitting in disrepair.

"It's dangerous and like I said, the one on Maupas between Atlantic and Reynolds, every year, I call them. They came out and do a band-aid repair and its there again," Osborne said.

City of Savannah officials tell WTOC the problem here is a sewer pipe collapsed. Repairs take time as they have to investigate. Osborne wants this repair to be the last repair.

"I wish they would do some constructive and permanent fixing of these streets," Osborne said.

Help should be on the way. The neighborhood is on the city's sewer pipe rehab schedule later this year. As for the current sinkholes, City of Savannah Public Information Officer Bret Bell tells WTOC the 41st Street sinkhole will be repaired by Wednesday, if it is not already. WTOC was on the scene at noon Tuesday, and no work had been done yet.

As for other sinkholes in the neighborhood, crews are still investigating.

Bell says they have to determine the cause before repairs can start. The city has 850 miles of sewer pipes and 950 miles of water pipes, all very old.

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