SHERIDAN, Colo. (CBS4) — Crews spent the day stabilizing a sinkhole for repairs after Monday’s storm caused a pipe to break at Sante Fe Drive and Oxford Avenue. It’s the third sinkhole to form near that intersection since 2015.
“The problem has been discussed in the past and it’s been put aside to do other improvements,” explained Maria D’Andrea, Director of Public Works for the city of Englewood. The sinkhole is in Sheridan, but Englewood owns the pipes below ground and it’s their responsibility to maintain them.
D’Andrea says the broken pipe is about 30 years old and made of corrugated metal. The pipes under major streets, like Sante Fe Drive, are made of concrete. Concrete pipes are more durable, but they’re also more expensive.
The section of broken pipe is being replaced with concrete, but D’Andrea says it’s too costly to replace the entire line.
“Right now we don’t have the funding in place to replace it. To replace the entire line, from Sante Fe to South Platte River will cost around $11 million,” said D’Andrea. Replacing the 75 foot broken section of pipe will cost the city about $100,000.
Replacing all the metal pipes would cost between $40 – $50 million dollars, and taxpayers could foot the bill.
“We’re talking about potentially raising our storm sewage utility rates,” said D’Andrea. It’s too soon to say what that potential increase could be. The city will discuss potential ways to obtain the funding at upcoming council meetings.
In the meantime, the city says they’re doing more preventative maintenance across the area that will help with drainage.
“The intent is to go forward and hopefully replace the entire line sometime in the future. Until that time there’s nothing we can do to guarantee that it won’t happen again,” said D’Andrea.