Spout Hill Road to remain closed for sinkhole repair


Spout Hill Road in Sykesville will remain closed until the county completes repairs.

Town officials closed the road Friday after a sinkhole developed near the area where the road meets Main Street. A county emergency crew worked more than three hours Friday to fill the hole, which was as deep as 4 feet. Crews then covered the opening with a temporary patch.

"They excavated, determined the extent of the opening and filled in the sinkhole," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher at the council meeting last night.

"I am almost certain there is another cavity underneath the road," said Mr. Schumacher, who mentioned fears of another cave-in. He cited four areas of the road where he wanted testing.

"They will have to test bore every five feet to make sure there are no other cavities," he said.

Mr. Schumacher said the town would post additional signs and allow only local homeowners' traffic and emergency vehicles to use the road, which connects Main Street to Third Avenue.

Due to several large construction projects in the area, truck traffic has increased on Spout Hill and may be vibrating the underlying sewer lines and causing water leaks, Mr. Schumacher said. He suggested limiting the weight of trucks using the connector road.

Because the county owns the sewer line, the town has maintained that the county public works department is responsible for repairing the road. After much haggling, the town has agreed to take responsibility for the road after repairs are complete.

"They [county officials] have agreed to repair the road to town specifications," said Mayor Kenneth W. Clark. "There is no guarantee on the future, but they are meeting our requirements."

Repairs could begin today, Mr. Schumacher said, and should be completed by the end of this month.

Councilman Jonathan Herman said the hole, which measures 10 feet wide by 16 feet long, makes the scope of the county's task much larger. He asked that the town building inspector outline additions to the original work plan.

"If this is our last shot at getting the county to fix this road, let's push it to the limit," Mr. Herman said.

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