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Spout Hill Road shut by sinkhole


A large sinkhole in Spout Hill Road prompted Sykesville officials to close the road Friday afternoon.

"The county has been ultra-cooperative and is sending emergency crews," said James L. Schumacher, town manager.

He said the emergency crews from Stambaugh's Inc. were to arrive about 5 p.m. Friday to dig out the hole, which was as deep as 4 feet, and fill it with stone. Workers were to make a temporary patch over the 10-foot-wide by 16-foot-long opening.

Until the opening is permanently patched, the road will remain closed.

"We hope to have a permanent patch completed by Monday," said Mr. Schumacher, who estimated the road would be closed until at least Tuesday.

For years, Sykesville residents have become accustomed to disruptions on the the heavily traveled road, which connects Third Avenue to Main Street. Until now, the detours and closings have been in winter weather. Dangerously deep potholes form during the cold months and water leaks often turn Spout Hill into a sheet of ice.

Leaking water underneath is undermining the road surface.

"This latest leak is caused by the same old problem," Mr. Schumacher said. "The hole was caused by either spring water traveling on the sewer trench or a break in the trench."

Although the town owns the road, municipal officials blame the county for the drainage problems. The county improperly installed its sewer pipe, Mayor Kenneth W. Clark said after the ice-covered road had to be closed more than a week last winter.

"The road was fine until the county put the sewer system in," Mr. Clark said. "The drainage tile was not laid correctly."

County crews dug an emergency trench along the road in December and planned to work on a more permanent solution this summer.

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