Sheridan sinkhole causes flooding and damage

SHERIDAN – A 32-foot sinkhole has caused a big problem for roads and flooding.

During a recent Sheridan Town Board meeting three companies submitted bids to fix the road.

St. George Enterprise of Fredonia bid $15,600; H Olsen & Sons of Forestville bid $17,940; and Sall-Tee & Sons of Dunkirk bid $9,250.

Highway Superintendent Jeff Feinen commented on the expense and process to fix the damage done by the sinkhole.

“The 18-inch pipe we have now can’t handle it,” he said. “Pile driving is very expensive to do but that is the only solution we have now.”

Feinen added that pile driving will help stop the sinkhole from getting worse.

“The sinkhole is 32 feet down and the pipe will hold it and stabilize it,” he said. “The sinkhole had collapsed by the railroad and the water runs down the abandoned tracks.”

Feinen noted this problem of flooding has happened three times this year.

“The water raises 32 feet overnight and causes flooding,” he said. “The bids are meant to help with flooding on the surface of the road.”

Feinen explained the concept of pile driving.

“You take steel and drive it into the ground; anchoring back to the bank,” he said. “We have to go 32 feet down to stabilize the ground.”

Feinen added this will stop the road from sliding.

“The flooding is the biggest problem right now,” he said. “Once we start the road will have to be closed for at least three days.”

The sinkhole itself is about 15 feet deep. It has been a problem for a few years now.

According to Sheridan Highway Department Worker Butch Pierce it has been causing large cracks along East Middle Road, which in time could cause half the road to collapse.

“Those who are bidding now will help to create a second overflow, which will help a lot with the flooding,” he said. “It is an old pipe that rusted away which caused the sinkhole.”

“Right now we are trying to figure out who owns the property,” he continued. “It is a part of the old railroad so we think it is owned by the railroad.”

Pierce said Joe Smith keeps them informed on what is happening with the sinkhole.

“A temporary fix to the problem is to put in another pipe.” He agreed with Feinen on the pile driving. “It will help temporarily.”

The board will award the bid by March 20.