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Sinkhole discovered beneath train tracks in Burlington

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:56 PM CST
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BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - A sink hole has been discovered underneath the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks in Burlington, Iowa.

A hold in the city’s stone pipe sewer system was investigated by Burlington officials after a BNSF railway inspection.

In video obtained by TV6, the hole can be clearly seen from the view of the city’s sewage camera, which was used to take a closer look at the problem.

A plank currently covers the top of the sink hole sitting next to the tracks. Burlington requested the situation to be declared an emergency in order to get immediate funding to fix it, but officials say the declaration has to be approved by an engineer.

Since the sewage system is well over 150 years old, city officials say the fix could be quite costly, but the alternative to not fixing it right away could be worse.

“Worst case scenario, you have a full collapse of the sewer which means the rail line could’ve been jeopardized,” said Burlington city Assistant Manager Nick Macgregor.

The possibility is why Macgregor says he is hoping the emergency declaration will get approved so the issue will be fixed right away.

The city faced another sewer sink hole in 2019 that ended up collapsing in, but city officials confirmed that this new sink hole is not in as serious.

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