DARLINGTON, SC – Darlington drivers had to maneuver around an eight-foot sinkhole at the intersection of Orange and Wells streets on Tuesday. That’s right in front of the Darlington Fire Department.
Someone reported the sinkhole yesterday, and when workers went to inspect it, they discovered a damaged drainage pipe.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation says they received a call Monday morning about the sinkhole, and crews spent much of the day Tuesday trying to figure out what happened and patching up the hole.
They say the pipe they found was an older clay pipe, and over time, those don’t hold up well as opposed to the concrete ones used now.
Kevin Williams with the Department of Transportation says their crews were able to quickly respond and handle the situation.
“We responded as immediately as possible when we received the call about the sinkhole to investigate the cause of the problem, and once we excavated the ground to find out exactly what the problem was, that’s when we found the collapsed pipe,” said Williams.
He says the crews are working to finish up repairs on the road as quickly as possible because it is a high-traffic road in the City of Darlington.
“It is completed as far as the collapsed portion of the pipe. It has been repaired, and now we are filling the hole and finishing our repairs. We will pave it after we get the repairs and get it back up to grade,” said Williams.
News13 asked the Department of Transportation if it would be possible to replace the old pipes to avoid things like this in the future. They said that’s not possible because it is hard to know where the old, clay pipes are located.
Williams says they do not expect this to be a regular problem but says not knowing the location of the faulty pipes makes it difficult to take preventative measures.