2015 Laskey and Talmadge Sewer Cave

This is a large-scale sewer replacement project that will take weeks to conclude. We cannot predict a final completion date. We appreciate the patience of area residents as we work to make the needed repairs and restore the area.

Update Friday, September 18, 2015:

  • The collapsed 36” sewer line at Laskey and Talmadge has been completely filled in to prevent further loss of soil at the sinkhole.
  • The sinkhole is being filled in starting today.
  • Toledo Edison is scheduled to remove its electrical line this coming Monday.
  • The contractor will commence boring on Tuesday to initiate replacement of the sewer line, unless an unforeseen issue with the electrical issue occurs.
  • The area remains cordoned off to traffic.

Update September 15, 2015:

  • The bypass pumping system is complete and was put in operation 9/14.
  • We are now moving forward with to fill in the excavated hole and 260 feet of the 36” sewer from the manhole upstream of the hole to the manhole downstream of the hole. We hope to get the sewer line and hole filled by the end of this week.
  • Also moving ahead with a plan to replace this section of sewer with a bored encasement. A bore pit will be excavated in the eastbound curb lane of Laskey, just west of Estero. An overhead Toledo Edison line must be relocated first. If Edison is able to relocate their lines this week, the bore pit will be excavated next week, with the boring contractor on site the following week (9/28). The boring and connection of the new line is expected to take three weeks.
  • Pavement restoration is expected to take another one to two weeks which puts reopening of Talmadge in early November, if Toledo Edison is able to move their line this week. As of today, Edison was unable to provide a schedule for moving this line.

Q & A September 10, 2015:

  • Q. What exactly happened to cause the sinkhole to form?
    • A. The collapse of a 36-inch sewer, 40 feet deep in the ground from corroded concrete pipe.
  • Q. How large is the sinkhole?
    • A. 40 feet deep- 30 feet x 30 feet
  • Q. What (specifically) is being done to repair the hole?
    • A. We are putting in a bypass pumping system this week to pump sewage around the hole so that we can gain access. We are mobilizing for a contractor to come in to tunnel replacement sewer, 260 ft long.
  • Q. Is the hole presenting a structural problem for any other nearby areas?
    • A. No.
  • Q. How are the repairs going?
    • A. We had to conduct operations in a step by step manner.
  • Q. Is everything being done according to plan/schedule?
    • A. This was not a planned situation. We came up with a plan and are implementing it appropriately.
  • Q. Have there been any unexpected issues?
    • A. The project was not anticipated, but we now have a plan in place to correct the situation.
  • Q. How is traffic being diverted/rerouted in the area?
    • A. The road is closed at Laskey and Regency Court. Signage is in place to direct motorists at Monroe. Estero at Laskey is also closed. Residents have access to their homes.
  • Q. Are there any additional closures planned for the area?
    • A. No additional closures are planned.

Situation, September 4, 2015:

  • A 30-foot by 30-foot opening at the street level continues to close off the southbound and northbound lanes of Talmadge Road near Laskey.
  • The site has been excavated to approximately 40 feet, and about 10 feet wide at the base.
  • The 42-inch by 27-inch vertical elliptical concrete sanitary sewer has been exposed.
  • Physical inspection has determined that at least an 8-foot section of this line has been significantly compromised.
  • The deterioration was likely caused by hydrogen sulfide attack (sewer gases) generated by a 16-inch force main drop connection at this location.
  • Televising of the sewer line needs to take place to determine the condition of the line that cannot be visually inspected. There are two additional sewer feeds to this line, one of which drops some 20 feet into the sewer piping.
  • One hundred ninety-five feet of the excavated area will be cleaned from the east using Water Reclamation’s Super Vactor so that the main can be televised by an outside contractor.
  • Two sewer cleaning trucks will be cleaning the second and third sanitary sewer sections east of Laskey today and, time permitting, moving to the fourth and fifth sections east of Laskey also.
  • The City of Toledo Sewer maintenance division has called its contractor off the job, as the current challenges are beyond the scope of the contractor’s routine capabilities.
  • The Division of Engineering Services will manage the repair work and has hired a contractor, Ed Kelly & Sons, on a time and materials basis to perform the sewer repair  work. They are looking at replacing or lining the pipe from this location to the next manhole downstream, approximately 260 feet.
  • A bypass pumping system will be set up next week to allow sewer lining or replacement to proceed and to allow further inspection and evaluation.
  • There are too many outstanding variables to be able to provide any realistic expectation for a project completion date at this time.
  • The Department of Public Utilities will provide updates as they become available.



The City of Toledo was notified of a possible sewer cave at Talmadge near Laskey on Sunday, August 23. A Columbia Gas representative took control of the site and ordered that no work be done until a 2-inch gas line was removed, with work scheduled for Tuesday morning, August 25.

Columbia Gas removed the gas line on schedule and City of Toledo put its contractor on the job to begin excavating down to the sewer pipe, which is 42-feet underground. Work progressed during the week to stabilize the sides of the hole with appropriate safety measures and cautiously excavate using a clam bucket.

Posted by Stacy Weber on Tuesday, September 22, 2015.