Sinkhole

A SINKHOLE on Hackett Street in North Wilkesboro is about 5 feet deep and 5-6 feet in diameter, according to Dale Shumate, the town’s public services director.

A portion of Hackett Street in North Wilkesboro was closed to traffic Wednesday (today) due to a sinkhole, town officials said.

Public Services Director Dale Shumate said the portion of Hackett Street, between Suncrest Orchard Road and Finley Avenue, may be closed all week or longer as town crews replace rusted culverts beneath the road, which caused the sinkhole.

“We hope to finish it up by Friday,” Shumate said. “A lot of it has to do with availability of pipe. We’re putting in calls now.”

Shumate said two 36-inch culverts that carry storm water beneath the road had rusted and collapsed due to age and recent heavy rain.

“All the heavy rain we had over the weekend just magnified issues with the pipe,” he said.

Shumate said town crews plan to replace the two old pipes with a new five-foot, galvanized steel culvert that will carry the same volume of water the two pipes did.

He said the new pipe should last 20-30 years.

North Wilkesboro Town Manager Larry South said Wednesday morning the town was also focused on getting news of the road closure to residents.

“A lot of cut-through traffic goes through there,” he said.

Residents who had previously signed up for the town’s phone tree received an automated call from South telling them about the sinkhole and road closure.

Others learned of the incident because they were signed up for automated emails and/or texts from the town.

South said anyone who isn’t on these lists and wishes to be can visit the town’s website at www.north-wilkesboro.com. Select the “residential” tab, and click the “emergency outreach and communication” option in the “popular interest” section.

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