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Sinkhole almost filled in

The Bethel Avenue sinkhole is expected to be completely repaired by next month - Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo
The Bethel Avenue sinkhole is expected to be completely repaired by next month
— image credit: Charlie Bermant/Staff Photo

Repair of the 50-foot sinkhole on Bethel Avenue is winding down, with backfill scheduled for this week.

Even so, the project will have taken nearly a year to repair since the December storm that caused the ground to collapse.

“We’re required to complete the sinkhole repair by the end of October,” Public Works Director Mark Dorsey told the Port Orchard City Council on Tuesday.

The project has been delayed by weather, as well as FEMA funding that needed to be resolved. Another potential delay was averted earlier this month, when a buried storage tank was discovered on the bottom corner of the hole.

The city is responsible for the tank’s excavation as it was uncovered during the sinkhole repair.

At first, property owner Jeffrey Ing said he would reimburse the city for its removal, but later assumed responsibility for the operation.

As a result the city will fill the hole as planned, and Ing will conduct a separate tank excavation.

While no schedule has been set, Dorsey said that Ing would excavate the tank prior to the scheduled paving of the area.

Public Works also minimized the impact on the Hi-Joy Bowl with a common bridge-building technique.

Utility pipes were suspended below a 60-foot fir tree taken felled by a recent storm, so the water service could continue during the operation.

The final cost for the project is estimated at $480,000, approximately $30,000 more expensive than initial projections.

The payment equation is that FEMA assumes 75 percent of the cost with the remainder split between the state and the city.

The numbers are uncertain, according to Port Orchard Treasurer Kris Tompkins, as FEMA won’t commit until the project is completed.

Tompkins also said final costs could not be determined because several invoices have not been received or paid at this time.

The city faced an unexpected road repair expense this week, when working to repave Bay Street crews discovered that intersecting Sidney Avenue needed reinforcement.

The cost of this operation was estimated at around $13,000, with immediate approval required.

Mayor Lary Coppola is authorized to approve that expense and did so, but with unanimous support by the council.

A portion of Sidney will need to be ground down and repaved in order to prevent further deterioration.

Several council members spoke out in favor of the action, noting that if the road was not repaired it would cost more to do so in the future.

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