Carbondale’s Main Street caves in

Staff Report

CARBONDALE – Town work crews scrambled Wednesday to dig up a collapsing section of Main Street in Carbondale, located adjacent to the John M. Fleet Municipal Pool, where the historic Weaver Ditch had undermined the road and caused several concrete panels to buckle.Public Works Director Larry Ballenger said the ditch, which parallels Seventh Street and passes under Main Street in a culvert, apparently had been flowing around the outside of the culvert for some time and had eroded the road base underneath the concrete street sections.Although the ditch was shut down for repairs, Ballenger said it should be “on and off sporadically” for the next few days. He said getting the ditch back into operation is a high priority for the city’s repair work, and urged all users of water from the Weaver Ditch to check for sufficient flow before turning on their irrigation pumps.As for the street surface, Ballenger said it will likely be a matter of weeks before repairs can be completed, noting that the city will have to put out bids for the work.Ballenger also said cracks in the street surface had been showing up for several years, but that street officials had been reluctant to dig up the concrete surface to check the conditions underneath.Now that the street panels will have to be replaced, he said, he is recommending that the city install “bow-outs” at the intersection, similar to those at Third, Fourth and Sixth streets, to constrict traffic, cut the speeds of cars and improve pedestrian safety.

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