No quick fix for Orleans St.

November 21, 1990|By Mark Bomster | Mark Bomster,Evening Sun Staff

It could be several weeks until workers finish fixing the massive sinkhole in Orleans Street caused by last week's tunneling accident on the $321 million subway extension project in East Baltimore, according to a construction official.

The sinkhole, about 15 feet deep, resulted when the earth started to subside during tunneling, which ruptured a water line and caused dirt and water to wash into the tunnel.

No one was injured in the accident and the tunnel was not damaged. Traffic has since been rerouted along a service road parallel to the closed section of Orleans Street.

George Morschauser, an official with DKP Joint Venture, the construction management firm on the subway project, said about a third of the hole has been filled in. Workers are rebuilding a storm drain and sewer and utility lines.

The most complicated part of the job is repairing damage to Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. lines that run through the damaged area, Morschauser said.

About 40 percent of the telephone service to Johns Hopkins Hospital was disrupted during the accident, but phone service since has been restored, a hospital spokesman said.

Morschauser said it would be "at least two weeks" before the contractor, Kiewit/Shea JV, could begin tunneling again. Debris must be cleared from the tunnel and the contractor must submit a plan on how to avoid any more cave-ins.

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