TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) – New developments Tuesday at the sinkhole just off Rice Mine Road in Tuscaloosa. On Monday, April 11, 2022, a driver inadvertently drove into the hole.
City crews said the sinkhole, caused by weather and rain, will be repaired, but work could take months. The work is also in the seven figures.
Express Oil, which is in the flooded area, has built its own wall, a wall at the edge of its property, a wall supported by sandbags and a prayer barrier to hold back the flooding. It worked last time, but it’s not a permanent fix.
Up the road at AFFLINK, the CEO’s patience is running out.
“We’ve had employees come in during heavy storms and say, ‘I’m a little worried about trying to make it happen,'” said AFFLINK CEO Dennis Riffer.
But despite the standing water in the ditch and nearby sinkhole, there seems to be progress; a conference table and several phone calls.
There are a handful of homeowners the city will deal with to determine who is responsible and who will ultimately pay for the repair work.
“Everyone knows we’ve had some extreme weather, especially when it comes to rain,” said Stan Pate, one of the many owners.
“We need to step back and realize that the sinkhole happened on a private road but also on a private road with access to public access,” Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said.
What is happening now is an assessment, a technical study to find out exactly what is causing the backflow and the plan to fix it.
“We’re working on this complicated issue, which we’ve all inherited, but everyone is working in good faith to resolve this issue,” Mayor Maddox said.
“The bottom line is that it’s a natural way of drainage and has been since the dawn of time,” Pate said.
Mayor Walt Maddox estimates it will be months before work begins to permanently repair the broken infrastructure below.
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