Crews call Carmel sinkhole unique; repairs near end

Hamilton County authorities work the night of July 14, 2017, to repair a sinkhole at 96th Street and College Road on the Carmel-Indianapolis border. (WISH Photo)

CARMEL, IN (WISH) — Crews have been working all day in Carmel to fix a massive sinkhole that formed after Thursday night’s heavy rain.

Old piping couldn’t handle the several inches of rain that hit Carmel multiple times this week, said Kent Ward, the Hamilton County surveyor. But he said that piping isn’t commonly used anymore so the circumstances won’t likely repeat.

But still, a surprise to many to see a sinkhole that could fit an sport utility vehicle in Carmel.

“Think about sinkholes in Florida, not really in Indiana too much,” said Mike Zakrajsek, who lives in Carmel.

Ward said that out of nearly 1,400 miles of drainage the county is responsible for, only 5 miles has this old metal piping, mostly short distances in subdivisions. So he said he’s not concerned about this happening again.

“We have our fingers crossed; we hope not. And really it is a low-percentage possibility,” he said.

Crew have been out since 7 a.m. Friday. It has caused a traffic nightmare at the intersection of 96th Street and College Avenue.

“Well, it’s a major intersection for this whole area and it’s closed,” Zakrajesk said.

He said a 30-second trip to the liquor store took him 10 minutes.

That’s why crews wanted to finish up the work Friday night. As of this post about 10 p.m. Friday, they were putting on the finishing touches.

Crews had to fix the pipes that broke, fill the area with cement and then pave it over.

Traffic in the area was re-opened at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

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