Frederick City Officials To Develop Plan To Repair Sinkhole On Monocacy Blvd

A part of that roadway is closed to motorists.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – It could be about a week before a plan can be developed to repair the sinkhole on Monocacy Boulevard between the I-70 ramp and East South Street in Frederick. That’s according to Zack Kershner, the City’s Director of Public Works. “We have do a lot of investigation first to determine the extent of the damage because obviously we can’t see under the road,” he said. “I really couldn’t give you a time frame on repair. We’re going to move as quickly as we can but it could easily be a couple of months, potentially.”

The sinkhole opened up last week in a drainage swale near Monocacy Boulevard. Kershner says it grew on Friday with the heavy rains and theĀ  sinkhole now extends across Monocacy Boulevard. The road collapsed and broke a water line.

Kershner says it’s hard to determine the depth of the sinkhole but he estimates to be about 20-feet to 25-feet. “There’s likely a throat somewhere down there that takes it much deeper,” he says. “Widthwide, it’s at least 75 to 80 feet wide by probably 30 to 45 feet wide,” he says.

Frederick city and the county are prone to sinkholes due to the karst geology. “Basically, it’s limestone where there’s voids that exist. If water patterns change or you get heavy rains or flooding, it can often move the materials out from underneath there, and that’s where you get a collapse of the surface,” Kershner says.

As the City of Frederick works out a plan to repair the sinkhole, Kershner says he’s reaching out to some partner agencies for assistance. “I’m been in contact with State Highway (Administration) because of the proximity to I-70. They’re a partner with us as well as Frederick County I’ve reached out to to see if there is any assistance that could be offered.” he says.

In the meantime, Monocacy Boulevard between the I-70 ramp and the East South Street is closed, and Kershner urges motorists to stay away from the area. “It is dangerous so we ask the public to please stay away. and observe the road-closed signs and to stay away from it. It can be very unstable,” he says.

By Kevin McManus