Repair work begins on large hole in Bristol that swallowed road, forced evacuations

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 6, 2018

Courtesy: City of Bristol

BRISTOL, Fla. (WCTV) -- People who live near Northwest Virginia G. Weaver Street in Bristol are relieved contractors have started working on the large hole in the road.

Work began Thursday morning. Engineers say they have to correct the root of the problem first, before getting to filling in the hole and repairing the road.

Engineers say the area is where stormwater discharges from the pipe system. They say the water runoff caused the dirt to erode, and Hurricane Michael and recent rain caused the hole to grow larger.

It's estimated at 30 feet deep, and the size of a football field.

"I was scared," Angela Roberts said.

She added, "It wasn't that big at first. Then it just got big, very big. It's very scary. It's me and my kids stay here. The kids are scared, I'm scared."

Two families in apartments directly next to the hole have already been evacuated. Roberts' home is only a couple units down.

Charlie Gitto's home is also nearby. He said, "Oh, it was scary because it was coming toward this way. Everybody was thinking around here that it was going to go into towards the cemetery before they fixed the hole. It's a nightmare."

Brittany Chambers lives in the nearby apartments as well. She said, "Okay, I just lost my home in Hurricane Michael. So, I'm temporarily staying here and then this sinkhole is coming. I'm like, 'okay, I'm going to have to relocate again?' It's kind of frustrating."

Engineers say the plan is to rebuild the pipe system first. Then, place large rocks where the stormwater drains out, so the water hits rocks instead of eroding the dirt.

Next, they'll fill the hole with dirt. Engineers estimate it will take approximately 10,000 cubic yards of dirt. That's about 500 dump truck loads of dirt.

Engineers say the last step will be to repair the road.

"Well, I feel better now, because they're actually working on it," Gitto said.

The senior associate engineer says the target completion date is December 21. He says the road probably won't be paved by then, but it will be passable.

Officials say the City of Bristol received a federal grant that'll pay for about $175,000 to $180,000 of the $215,000 project.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
November 30, 2018

BRISTOL, Fla. (WCTV) – Residents and city officials are watching nervously as a massive ravine grows in Bristol.

The giant hole is near Virginia G. Weaver St., about a block north of city hall.

It’s estimated to be 30 feet deep and about the size of a football field.

City clerk Robin Hatcher says the ravine runs through a wooded area but has grown rapidly in the past three or four months.

The expanding chasm has eaten away part of Virginia G. Weaver St. and is moving toward a nearby cemetery.

Hatcher says it’s also within about 15 feet of a unit at Northwest Florida Regional Housing Authority, forcing two families to evacuate that building.

The clerk says the city has now signed a contract to have the hole stabilized and repaired. That work is set to begin on December 5th.

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