Sinkhole may mean underground problems for Northport

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 4:47 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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NORTHPORT, Ala, (WBRC) - Northport city leaders have taken a major step towards repairing or replacing underground drainage pipes. The city council voted to make the change Monday night and city leaders will know in about six months just how problematic the issue may be.

A small but noticeable sinkhole a block away from downtown Northport at the corner of 5th Street and Bridge Avenue is the reason leaders are taking a look at underground pipes.

Monday night, the city council voted to spend $89,000 to have an outside firm explore 1,000 pipes snaking their way under the city. Many of these pipes are 30 years old and even though they’re made of metal, there is a likelihood they’ll find some rust at the bottom of the pipes, a prime ingredient for a potential sinkhole.

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“What we’re going to do is identify where we have these pipes. We’re going to go in and look at these pipes to see if we have some that are showing signs of failure. If they are and you catch it soon enough you can actually go in and line the bottom of those pipes with concrete so you could extend its life and it’s much more cost-effective to repair them that way than having to dig down than to have to replace the whole pipe and it’s much safer as well,” said Northport city engineer Tera Tubbs.

To bring this closer to home, you may recall a major sinkhole near Northport City Hall in February 2022. That sinkhole was caused by a rusty pipe and the cost to repair it? $1 million. Here is our report on that sinkhole.

Big sinkhole near Northport city hall

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