Contractor addresses drainage, sinkhole near Rt. 924 in Shenandoah

Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.
·2 min read

Feb. 26—SHENANDOAH — A contractor is working to fill a sinkhole and address drainage runoff that has caused icing on Route 924 just north of the borough.

The sinkhole was discovered behind the northbound shoulder Thursday morning, said Sean Brown, safety press officer for PennDOT District 5. Its cause is unknown, but rock and other backfill is being placed there to prevent "roadway failure," he said in an email.

Off the southbound lane at a sharp curve in the highway, the contractor is installing rock swale and embankment protection because of subsurface springs and drainage runoff. The goal is to direct surface water runoff to an inlet, Brown said.

H&K Group Inc., Skippack, was hired for the work at an estimated $15,000.

The rock swale and embankment work was expected to be completed Thursday and the sinkhole remediation on Friday. Also, pothole repairs from subsurface water on Shenandoah Heights hill will be repaired Friday, and single lane restrictions of traffic will continue.

Brown said the reconstruction of Route 924 last year did not create the drainage problem or make it worse.

"The area that work is being performed did not have failures upon milling and was paved with leveling and wearing course as per plan," Brown said. "One important factor is the hill was milled while conditions were dry and the area experienced minimal rain. This winter has provided snow fall that we have not experienced in some time, which may have caused these issues, especially the rain after the 20" snow storm."

Additional work will be done when the weather breaks and bituminous plants open. Half of the southbound lane and southbound shoulder in the swale area will be excavated, subsurface drains installed and the area reconstructed, Brown said.

Route 924 in that area was repaved last summer as part of a $5.5 million project to repair approximately 4.5 miles of the highway from north of Shenandoah to Frackville. The southern portion will be done this year. H&K Group is the contractor for the reconstruction project.

Meanwhile Thursday, work was all but completed on new traffic lights in the borough, also part of the larger Route 924 project. H&K subcontracted Telco Inc., Leesport, for that work, Brown said.

Remaining to be done is removal of one of the old signal poles that still had wires attached and installation of a "preemptive system" at Hook and Ladder Fire Company at Coal and Main (Route 924) streets that allows emergency personnel to change the signal in an emergency. Both items may be done Friday, Brown said.

Installation and activation of push buttons and pedestrian signals at the Redner's intersection is also planned Friday.