Tarpon Springs sinkhole repairs could take months

This photo taken on Monday, April 4 shows a pipe that's being used to drain the sinkhole.

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA)- It could be more than two months for crews to completely repair damage caused by a sinkhole that formed off U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs. 

This photo taken on Monday, April 4 shows a sewer pipe that was severed by the sinkhole.
This photo taken on Monday, April 4 shows a sewer pipe that was severed by the sinkhole.

About 20 people were evacuated from seven homes at the Tarpon Shores Mobile Home Park on March 30 after a 60-foot-wide sinkhole opened up about a half block off U.S. 19. The sinkhole was discovered a few weeks earlier. Construction crews were working on the sinkhole when it opened up even more on March 30.

By the next day, the sinkhole grew to 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep. It wound up breaking nearby water and sewage lines, and then sewage began to flow into the sinkhole.

The sinkhole is near homes at the Tarpon Shores Mobile Home Park.

“It just keeps growing towards the house next door.  Every time it rains it gets wider and wider and wider, that’s what they can’t live there,” said Marty Dodd, who is the son of a homeowner.

“It was very frightening for my mom. She just had a hard time with this.  All she thinks about is the house.  What’s gonna happen, am I gonna have to… it was very frightening for her,” said Barbara Dodd, who is the daughter of a homeowner impacted by the sinkhole.

“She lost a lot of sleep about it because she just was so worried about it constantly, what was gonna happen because they came and took them immediately out,” said Dodd of her mother.

Over the weekend, crews constructed temporary bypasses for two wastewater lines. A small potable water line remains out of service. Businesses at Olympic Plaza are under a boil water notice.

The City of Tarpon Springs said that several thousand gallons of wastewater remain in the hole. Pumping of the wastewater is expected to be completed by Wednesday, April 6th.

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Once all of the wastewater has been drained from the sinkhole, fill dirt will be brought in. This is expected to take two weeks. Once the fill has been completed, it must settle for a period of four weeks.

After settling has completed, geologic testing and grouting will occur. The city says this will take two more weeks. Road repairs will be completed after all work has been finished on the sinkhole. The road repairs will take about two weeks.

The City and County are considering a permanent relocation of the utility lines. If it is decided to permanently relocate the utility lines, work on this project will run concurrently with the sinkhole repair.

As for residents who were evacuated, the city says that of the seven homes that were evacuated in the Tarpon Shores Mobile Home Park, only three homes remain affected. Two of the affected homes were vacant when the sinkhole formed, the occupant of the third home is a seasonal resident who has relocated up north.
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