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Middletown Transcript
  • Suspected sinkhole discovered on Middletown's West Main Street

  • What could be a sinkhole – possibly as deep as 7 feet – recently was discovered under the sidewalk in front of the West Main Street alleyway that separates The Everett Theatre from the Gibby Center for the Arts, according to multiple sources.
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  • What could be a sinkhole – possibly as deep as 7 feet – recently was discovered under the sidewalk in front of the West Main Street alleyway that separates The Everett Theatre from the Gibby Center for the Arts, according to multiple sources.
    Town spokeswoman Kristen Krenzer confirmed that a “void” has been discovered under the sidewalk but decline to provide further details.
    However, several people familiar with the area say the plates are covering a hole roughly 2-feet wide.
    “We have not been given any indication at this time that there is any danger to the structure of either the theater or the Gibby,” said Chris Everett, the executive director of The Everett Inc., which owns the buildings on either side of the alleyway. “After talking to the town, we still don’t know a whole lot because it’s still in the exploratory phase, but as soon as we find out what’s going on, we’ll be able to provide more information from our end.”
    Amber Shader, who owns the First & Little baby boutique immediately east of the alleyway, said she first discovered the hole Feb. 16, after noticing a displaced brick in the sidewalk.
    “At first, I thought the brick had just been kicked up, maybe by some vandals or something,” she said. “But after my husband and I looked underneath, we saw that it went down pretty deep.”
    Shader then notified Tracy Skrobot, manager of the Middletown Main Street Program, which collaborated with The Everett Inc. last summer to convert the alleyway into a “pocket park” that features murals, public seating, a rain barrel and planters.
    “I came over right away, and we removed more bricks and saw that there was more to it,” she said. “I don’t know if anyone knows for sure what caused it at this point, but I suspect all the rain, snow and moisture we’ve had this winter washed away the dirt under the sidewalk.”
    Although it appears the hole might have damaged the cement flooring in the alleyway, Skrobot said she’s been told the area – which is currently cordoned off with orange cones and yellow caution tape – does not represent a danger to the public.
    “The good thing is we found it before it caused any problems,” she said.
    Shader said she’s also been told by town officials that her store, which she leases from The Everett Inc., is not in any peril.
    “[Town officials] checked the basement and the walls, and told me there is nothing to be concerned about,” she said. “I was told that it’s safe to have people in the store, and right now I think they’re trying to figure out what to do next.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Town employees were excavating the area around the alleyway Wednesday to determine what might be causing the problem and what further measures need to be taken, Krenzer said.

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