A sinkhole that formed Sunday forced the temporary closure of part of East Powell Road in Orange Township.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office received a report about the sinkhole from a passing motorist Sunday evening. The sinkhole was located in the eastbound lane in the area of 3322 E. Powell Road, west of Bale Kenyon Road and east of Walker Wood Boulevard.
The Delaware County Engineer’s Office closed the road around 9 p.m. Sunday and it remained closed until repairs could be made. The roadway was re-opened to traffic around 3 p.m. Monday.
“We got the notice (Sunday) night,” said Mike Love of Delaware County Engineer’s Office. “Crews were out there first thing (Monday) morning starting repairs.”
Rob Riley, chief deputy engineer, told Delaware County Commissioners during their Monday morning session that the initial sinkhole was approximately four feet wide and five feet long.
According to the sheriff’s office dispatch report, the person who called in the sinkhole said they just missed running into it while driving on East Powell Road. No traffic accidents were reported related to the sinkhole, according to law enforcement.
Love said, typically, sinkholes can be caused by underground utilities such as water or sewer lines. He said the engineer’s office had the sanitary sewer line tested Monday and didn’t find any leaks.
Love said the engineer’s office decided to entirely close East Powell Road instead of just blocking off the affected lane so traffic could be maintained. Residents who live along that stretch of East Powell Road still had access to their homes during the closure.
“We didn’t know the extent of how much of the soil was affected,” he said. “We didn’t want to chance it because it’s a busy road.”
Love said the cause of the sinkhole still wasn’t clear Monday, but it might have just been a void in the soil that caused the collapse. He said the sinkhole was the first he’s heard of since being with the engineer’s office.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological Survey, numerous sinkholes have been reported over the years in Delaware County, especially in the western portion of the county along the Scioto River. An ODNR report stated that “sinkhole concentrations up to 1 sinkhole per acre are not uncommon in Concord, Scioto, and Radnor Townships of Delaware County.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.