Part of Main Street in South Windsor could be closed for a week or more while crews work to repair a sewer main problem that police are calling a "significant event."
Officials believe a cracked culvert 25 feet under ground is responsible for crumbling curbs and a massive sinkhole on Main Street and have spent the past week looking into the issue.
South Windsor police said a sewer main ruptured beneath the asphalt on the 1700 block of Main Street. The road is shut down between Oxbow Lane and Sullivan Avenue for the second time in a week and could remain closed for days.
Police said public works crews set up a sewer bypass to isolate the problem and begin fixing the damage. Crews will need to dig a hole that's at least 25 feet deep, 32 feet wide and about 80 feet long, according to the public works department.
"It looks like the problem could be right under our sanitary sewer so we had no choice but to actually remove that section of pipe," said South Windsor Public Works Director Michael Gantick. "It did begin to settle a little bit. It's still intact."
Gantick added that the sewer pipe may have shifted slightly due to last week's sinkhole.
"We realized there's some additional settling occurring in the road," Gantick explained. "At this time, what we've determined to do is actually go down to find the culvert in question, some 25 feet down."
Town officials hoped to stabilize the pipe and make repairs before the metal gave way, but Gantick said the problem turned out to be much worse than they initially thought.
"The existing culvert, for all we know, could be 70, 80 years old, and from what we've seen today, with some TV work, it's some old pipe construction," he said. "Hopefully we can make a temporary patch and basically get the road back in shape."
Gantick said he has personally explained the situation to residents of the area and is thanking them for their patience. The problem could take several days to fix.
"We have gotten good info from the dpw which we’re very happy about they’ve been very responsive," South Windsor resident Jessica Glass said.
Gantick said some school buses will need to be rerouted around the area.
"We may have to do future replacement of the culvert," Gantick said. "We may not be able to fully take care of the situation here, but we won't know until we get down there and take a look at it."
Officials had tried to patch the culvert for a quick fix, but that didn't work.
"We’re going to have to bypass the sanitary sewer because the sanitary sewer is some 10-12 feet above this culvert," Gantick said.
Police said residents should still be able to access their driveways.
It could be a week or more before Main Street reopens in the area.
The project could cost millions of dollars.