After downtown sinkhole, inspections find no ‘imminent problem’


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Citizens Energy Group says it does not expect any more major issues after two major intersections were shut down in July due to a sinkhole and an underground manhole structure collapse that threatened to become a sinkhole.

The utility group outlined the causes and aftermath of the summer’s downtown problems at a public meeting Friday before the Indiana Utility Regulation Commission. 

Citizens Energy Group spokesperson Dan Considine said that after the July incidents, Citizens worked with contractors and consultants to thoroughly inspect the downtown sewer system and manhole covers. 

“We didn’t find anything that was really an imminent problem,” Considine said. 

According to Considine, the crews found four manhole covers and two sewer segments downtown in need of “minor repairs.” He expects those repairs to be done by September. 

On July 4, a sinkhole shut down the major downtown intersection of Ohio and Pennsylvania streets. Less than two weeks later, a sinkhole threat shut down the intersection of Maryland and Illinois streets. Both intersections have since reopened.

Most of the sewers in the downtown area are constructed from brick, and many are more than 100 years old, Considine said. 

Citizens Energy Group typically inspects the sewers and manholes once every 10 years. The group now plans to inspect downtown structures once every five years. 

“It is very expensive to go out with crews and cameras and people to inspect every sewer. We have, on the whole system, over 3,200 miles of sewer system in Marion County.”

The sewer system at Ohio and Pennsylvania streets had last been inspected in 2014. 

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