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Updated: West Hartford Center Intersection to be Excavated Beginning Tuesday

A third sinkhole opened up on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center. Photo credti: Ronni Newton

Updated: Dut to rainy weather forecast for Monday, the excavation of the Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road intersection in West Hartford Center that has become a necesssity in order to determine the cause of multiple sinkholes that have formed in the area will begin on Tuesday, June 16.

A third sinkhole opened up on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center. Photo credti: Ronni Newton

A third sinkhole opened up on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at the intersection of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center. Photo credti: Ronni Newton (file photo)

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford’s Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan District Commission have been trying to determine the cause of a persistent sinkhole problem in the area of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center, and have finally concluded that excavation of the roadway, which will begin on Tuesday, June 16, is necessary.

The first sinkhole was reported on Nov. 25, 2014, and two others have since formed with the most recent appearing on May 28.

After the third hole appeared, West Hartford Department of Public Works Director John Phillips said it hastened the need for more immediate action. He said that crews would continue to try to discover the cause without excavating, but if they were unsuccessful, the disruptive alternative of digging up the roadway would be the only option.

“We’re reaching the point where we will have to excavate for an exploratory dig,” Phillips said in late May.

“The underground utilities in the area come together like a bowl of spaghetti,” Phillips said in May. Mains for clean water, sanitary sewage, and storm sewage all converge in the same location, he said, and he is not sure whether repairs would be the responsibility of the town, the MDC, or both.

The exploratory excavation will begin at 4 a.m. on Monday, June 15, and will be performed by drainage contractor Tabacco & Son Builders, according to a news release from the Town of West Hartford.

According to town officials, the crews will be digging down about 15 feet in a location that showed “loose sediment” in images taken from robotic camera. Whether or not the repairs can be made during the excavation will depend on the complexity of the problem, officials said.

The project will take about three days, weather-permitting.

During the excavation Farmington Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction. LaSalle Road will be open northbound, but southbound traffic will be detoured.

Traffic delays should be anticipated.

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