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Utility sees mounting sinkhole problem
A second sinkhole above a main sewage transmission line could be extremely costly to the Brunswick Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission, a utility official says.

The utility was in the process of accepting proposals to repair a sinkhole on Cedar Street when a second one developed.

"At the site where we planned to do some emergency repair on a 30-inch sewer line, we had another sinkhole," Morgan said. "It just reaffirms how bad of shape this line is in."

Sinkholes occur when dirt above a pipeline works its way into pipes until the space between the pipe and the asphalt collapses, Morgan said.

The concrete line was constructed 40 years ago, and since then the utility has found that concrete is not a suitable material for the sewer system.

The utility board agreed to send out a request for proposal to complete rehabilitation work on the first collapsed sewage line in July. The second sinkhole appeared before work on the first one could even be executed.

"It's a major line," Morgan said. "It serves a lot of area of north Glynn County. A lot of neighborhoods are connected to it."

The 30-inch line transports all wastewater generated and collected in the Interstate 95 and U.S. 341 interchange, a majority of the I-95 and Ga. Spur 25 interchange and many residential neighborhoods to Academy Creek in Brunswick.

The first sinkhole was paved over and marked off, Morgan said.

The temporary fix will hold for now, but because of the severity of the first collapse and the second collapse coming just weeks later, the work has to be completed as quickly as possible.

Money for the project will come from the renewal and replacement fund, which could be a problem. Morgan told the utility board July 19 the rehabilitation projects are underfunded.

Similar repairs have cost more than $1 million and took over six months to complete, he said.

"I don't want to say an amount that we expect it to cost, but it will be very high dollar," Morgan said. "We are aware of the state it's in, but we're moving as quickly as possible."

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