Both directions of West Millbrook Road will be closed until Wednesday evening near Shelley Lake so crews can replace a sewer line that collapsed, causing a sinkhole to open up in the middle of the road.
The sinkhole measured about 12 feet by 12 feet and initially closed only the westbound lanes of Millbrook. At first, city officials said they would be able to reopen it Monday but have moved the completion date back because they’ve decided to replace the entire length of pipe that runs under the road.
The sinkhole appeared where the aging 24-inch diameter concrete sewer pipe gave out, said Ed Buchan, the Raleigh Public Utilities Department’s environmental coordinator. Installed in 1973, the pipe was nearing the end of its life, in which it endured years of exposure to corrosive sewer gas and wastewater.
While work is completed, customers in the area should not expect interruption in utility services, a city release said.
To minimize road closures, crews are replacing the entire 340-foot section of pipe that runs perpendicular to Millbrook, which is separated by a median between North Hills Drive and Lead Mine Road.
The new 36-inch fiberglass-reinforced pipe will have to be installed carefully, because the sewer pipe sits in close proximity of adjacent underground utilities and overhead power lines, Buchan said.
Coincidentally, crews were planning to check the pipe Friday, Buchan said. It was scheduled for an initial assessment to detect possible problems in the older section of line.
“There’s a possibility that we were going to replace it anyway, just as part of our typical maintenance or rehabilitation efforts,” Buchan said.
Officials recommend that motorists avoid the area. The following is a detour around the work site:
▪ Drivers headed westbound on West Millbrook by Shelley Lake will turn right on North Hills Drive, left on Lynn Road, left on Lead Mine Road and right onto West Millbrook.
▪ Drivers traveling eastbound on West Millbrook by Shelley Lake will turn left on Lead Mine Road, right on Lynn Road, right onto North Hills Drive, and left onto West Millbrook.