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County dumps more gravel into Springfield-Harrison Extension

July 1, 1993

County dumps more gravel into Springfield-Harrison Extension

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County dumps more gravel into Springfield-Harrison Extension

Repair work on the new Harrison-Springfield extension is underway after part of the road collapsed on the former Ditzler property. The road isn’t even open yet. Reportedly, no rebar was used in its construction. The size of the hole can be seen in the top photo; it’s about 75 feet long. It is right above the location where the county installed two large culverts to redirect Kent Creek. Tom Ditzler says his entire lower meadow is wet, and he says it was never so saturated before the road construction began. He thinks the county has punched a hole in the aquifer. Winnebago County Engineer Joseph Vanderwerff stated at the time the pipes were put in that they would solve any water problems at the site. Still, load after load of gravel went into the original excavation for the supports of the culverts, and water was being constantly pumped out. Water has caused the new road to crack and then cave in. The county is trying to fix the problem by dumping more gravel into the hole (bottom photo). At least three large truckloads have been reported to be put in there. Is this a sinkhole? At one point, Vanderwerff denied any water problems existed at the site. We wonder how much of a cost overrun has occurred on this project. Vanderwerff was unavailable for comment Tuesday. (Ken Bard photos)

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