Fixing sinkhole downtown could cost Lenoir $1 million

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 08:47 AM

Lenoir will have to borrow nearly $1 million to pay for repairing a sinkhole, which will require tearing down a vacant building, city officials said Thursday.

"We don't have that money on hand," City Manager Lane Bailey said.

But decisions on what work will be done will not be made until later this year, and the construction would most likely be done next spring, officials said Thursday at a meeting of Lenoir's Committee of the Whole.

The sinkhole on West Avenue near Lenoir Building Supply was caused by a damaged box culvert. Water has eroded the earth around it.

Needed repairs will start with tearing down the vacant Carolina Custom Cabinets building on West Avenue and creating a stormwater retention pond, which could cost $180,000, said Andy Lovingood, a project engineer with the McGill Associates engineering firm. Repairing the damaged box culvert could cost up to $240,000, and upgrading another culvert on the property could cost up to $550,000, bringing the total to $870,000.

On Oct. 8, the city will begin taking bids to demolish the former Carolina Custom Cabinets building.

The work may force Lenoir Building Supply, whose property is adjacent to the work site, to close for a portion of the construction period, though city officials will try to avoid that.