6th Civil Engineer Squadron prevents potential sinkhole at MacDill

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Vernon L. Fowler Jr.
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

On June 4, 2016 the 6th CES team received a call concerning large amounts of water flowing onto Hillsborough Loop Drive near the 6th Comptroller Squadron (CPTS) and 6th Contracting Squadron (CONS).

Upon a call being placed by the 6th CES, along with an inspection by the Florida Governmental Utility Authority (FGUA), contractors determined that a six-inch diameter cast iron drinking water main was leaking under the road and needed to be completely replaced.

“Because the break occurred under and near the center of the road, the water flow from the broken pipe washed out the underlying soils,” said David Lehosit, Chief of Operations Flight/Utilities Privatization with the 6th CES. “That created a cavity of about 13 feet by 8 feet under the road.”

To prevent additional flooding and further erosion of the soil along the road, contractors shut off a section of the water main to stop the water flow.

Due to the large size of the cavity, as well as safety concerns, the road was blocked off. As a result, the contractors prevented the collapse of the pavement from the added weight of traffic and subsequent vehicular damage.

“Since the replacement work would be time consuming and had to be accomplished during the work week, a temporary water service was installed to ensure impacted customers could still receive drinking water when they returned to work,” said Lehosit.

Later, contractors excavated a portion of Hillsborough Loop Dr. to confirm that the pipe was broken. They then removed and replaced it with a much stronger eight-inch ductile iron water main pipe, before backfilling the hole to protect the new water main, completely fill in the cavity, and support the road pavement.

The road reopened to traffic on June 10, less than one week after receiving the initial emergency call and will be repaved on June 23.