Ma & Pa Trail sinkhole

A stream crossing on the Ma & Pa Trail in Bel Air was partially undermined after heavy rains earlier this summer. Now a widening sinkhole has developed, right. (ALLAN VOUGHT | AEGIS STAFF, The Aegis / September 6, 2013)

Regulars on the Ma & Pa Trail may have noticed what looks like a sinkhole near the trail's Heavenly Waters Park end, not far from Tollgate Road.

Harford County Parks and Recreation Director Arden McClune said Wednesday, however, that the sinkhole is a "moderate" safety concern and the department is working on getting a price from a contractor to repair the problem.

McClune expects the work to be done in about a month.

Several people told the department they were concerned about the hole, which was first noticed more than a month ago, McClune said.


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After a rainstorm in July, part of the trail crossing a branch of Heavenly Waters gave way over top of the pipe culvert. The county dumped stone into the original breach, but it quickly washed through and, after more stone was dumped in, the situation seemed to stabilize.

The original breach has been cordoned off with cones and yellow tape.

In the past week a small hole developed in the trail's macadam surface near to the first breach and has since appeared to be gradually getting larger.

McClune insisted the hole, which is barely inside the perimeter of the yellow tape, is not an immediate public threat.

"If we thought it was spreading or a serious danger to public safety, we would have closed the trail," she said, explaining the hole is not getting bigger.

This is the first time McClune recalled a hole on that part of the trail since it opened about 12 years ago, she said.

The county does routine maintenance on the trail, she said, but some undermining of the surface is to be expected over time.

"When it opened up, our guys got out there right away," McClune said. "It is a hole that needs to be fixed."