December 15, 2010

Sinking, sinking, sinking ... sunk

Kennebec Journal Staff

GARDINER -- A 41/2-foot deep sinkhole at the intersection of West Hill Road and Cobbossee Avenue in Gardiner appeared Tuesday.

click image to enlarge

City of Gardiner officials walk around a sinkhole that emerged Tuesday afternoon on Cobbossee Avenue in the city. Police detoured traffic around the hole.

Staff photo by Andy Molloy

The report came in around 1:30 p.m.

Gardiner Police Chief Jim Toman said the hole was in the eastbound lane, next to Cobbossee Stream.

"It was reported to us by a passerby," Toman said. "It's 41/2 feet deep, eight feet long right now and four feet wide."

He said the city's public works department is in communication with DOT to see who is responsible for fixing the road. Toman said city officials told him Cobbossee Avenue is a state road.

Rob McAleer, director of the Maine Emergency Management Agency, warned drivers to not to drive through standing water on roads, which could obscure obstacles -- like a sinkhole.

"You don't know what's under the road," McAleer said. "Drive around the water, don't go through it, particularly on some of the country roads. You can't tell if a road has been washed out."

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