Engineers find cause of persistent sinkhole

There are 10 comments on the Lebanon Daily News story from Jul 27, 2010, titled Engineers find cause of persistent sinkhole. In it, Lebanon Daily News reports that:

A Harrisburg engineering firm has pinpointed the causes of a persistent sinkhole in front of the Palmyra Bowling Center and Sinkhole Saloon in North Londonderry Township.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Lebanon Daily News.

Bout Time

Harrisburg, PA

#1 Jul 27, 2010
Sinkholes start from the bottom not the top. With a high water table more underground streams get closer to the surface and wash away material from below. I think a few test borings are in order. But you better hang on to the drill bit.
Property Owner

Lebanon, PA

#2 Jul 27, 2010
Rename the sinkhole saloon!
Morbius

York, PA

#3 Jul 28, 2010
This area has been notorious for sinkholes. There's only one real solution: pump it so full of concrete that every nook and cranny gets plugged.
Jack

Hershey, PA

#4 Jul 28, 2010
I wonder what we'll do in 50 years when half our state is full of sinkholes because fracking has broken up all the underground rock layers and the drinking water is toxic.
born in Lebanon PA

Wrightsville, PA

#5 Jul 28, 2010
everyone wants to blame the quarry right away! the whole central pa is full of limestome.
thomas paine

Lebanon, PA

#6 Jul 28, 2010
They hired an engineering firm at who knows what cost, and all they would have needed to do was ask a couple of old guys who live there all their lives. They could have told them how to fix it.
Publius Novus

Washington, DC

#7 Jul 28, 2010
Morbius wrote:
This area has been notorious for sinkholes. There's only one real solution: pump it so full of concrete that every nook and cranny gets plugged.
You can pump concrete until Calcite Quarry runs dry, but you will not kill this sinkhole permanently. Lebanon County is underlain by dolomitic limestone--good for smelting iron ore, but subject to sinkholes. Geologists refer to this area as a region of Karst topography, characterized by relatively few surface streams, but with much subsurface drainage. Similar to central Florida. Good luck bloodsucker.
edfrompa

Lancaster, PA

#8 Aug 4, 2010
Thirty five years ago I watched the state try to fix that sinkhole. I said try! They dug down about fifty feet or more, I got pictures to prove it.
The engineering firm just said "find the throat of the sinkhole and then use a large boulder 3 or 4 feet wide to block it off". I hope we did not pay this engineering firm, I hope it was just free advice. First of all how do you know how big the throat of this sinkhole is? So how can you say use a 3' or 4' boulder to close it?? There were geologist there thirty five years ago. Thirty five years ago there was not any land development in that area. At that time the state had the road open one lane south side berm. The rest of the road was dug open to a depth of about fifty or more feet.
The state supposedly found the throat of the sink hole, and they used massive boulders to close the throat of this sinkhole, not 3' or 4' boulders, Then they used smaller rocks that were 3' or 4', then they used rip rap (4" to 5" stone, and I could not count how many cement trucks of concrete was poured over top of all of this stone and rock, and then finally they used stone dust for about five or six feet over the concrete.Then they blacktopped the road. This sinkhole is not an easy fix, you don't sit behind a desk and try to fix this one, because it will come back to bite you financially big time. It will take work, core drilling, a certified geologist on site. The solution to this one might be a bridge over the sinkhole.A bridge meaning even with the highway. The sinkhole could be controlled by concrete and steel. Example, look at Arch street at the east end, huge sinkhole, but it is controlled. Look at the east end of Cherry st. huge sinkhole there, you would not know it, but it is there. That one is curb to curb, yet it has not caused any problems for quite a few years. When it comes to sinkholes the first thing everyone wants to do is dig it up and close it off, easier said then done. Sometimes we have to think out of the box.

Morbius

York, PA

#9 Aug 5, 2010
Publius Novus wrote:
<quoted text>You can pump concrete until Calcite Quarry runs dry, but you will not kill this sinkhole permanently. Lebanon County is underlain by dolomitic limestone--good for smelting iron ore, but subject to sinkholes. Geologists refer to this area as a region of Karst topography, characterized by relatively few surface streams, but with much subsurface drainage. Similar to central Florida. Good luck bloodsucker.
...and the typical repair methodology for this kind of problem is exactly what I said. It is not an eternal solution but it is the best we've got.
Ryeguy

New York, NY

#10 Aug 27, 2012
I dug up some old interesting info from the 40's about anville limestone MINE not quarry. Yes there was/is a mine. It was official department of natural resources stuff:

When the mine began pumping 6500 gpm from lower levels in May 1949, it drastically lowered the ground-water level over an area of 10 square miles, drying up most valley springs and many wells. About 100 sink holes of all sizes developed in the area, endangering life and property. The water-table map of November 1949 showed a huge cone of depression with the apex at the mine

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