Sink hole pops up in Polo, but sort of at the right time

Travis Coil of Martin & Co. (right) and Polo Public Works Director Kendall Kyker watch as chip gravel is dumped into the large sink hole that developed in the east lane of Illinois 26 in Polo late Friday afternoon. Underneat the concrete and pavement, the hole measured 10' long, 7' wide and about 10' deep. It was filled with the gravel as a temporary fix until crews can repair the storm sewer leak.

POLO – Public Works Director Kendall Kyker was just about ready to head home from a long day of work Friday afternoon when someone reported a “big old hole” in front of the Shell station along Route 26.

So Kyker sped over to the intersection of Colden and Division Avenue.

“Yep, there it was, a very big hole,” he said. “They said you could fit a car in it, and I believe you could have.”

Kyker has been working side by side with Martin & Co. as the Colden Street Project – a $3.5 million storm sewer improvement plan – enters its second year. The project encompasses about 10.5 blocks in both the downtown business district and residential neighborhoods and is meant to help regulate water buildup on Division Avenue during torrential rain events.

The sink hole was formed by an old leaky stormwater sewer pipe, located under the state highway’s concrete base and asphalt topping, Kyker said as he looked into the hole with Travis Coil of Martin & Co.

“It’s an old pipe made from clay tile,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve been doing this project.”

Coil and Kyker estimated the hole to be 10 feet long, 7 feet wide and 10 feet deep. They jumped into action and had a city dump truck bring large loads of gravel to fill in the hole temporarily.

“We knew we were going to run into this type of thing anyway, but this is bigger than we thought,” Kyker said. “This is actually on the list to get fixed.”

Coil said his crew was working west of the intersection when the hole appeared.

“It’s a good thing it happened while we were all here. It would have been really bad if it would have happened after dark,” he said. “This was literally a preexisting condition, but God was here and said, ‘Fix it now.’”

One lane of the highway was shut down as the emergency repairs were made, but the highway was expected to be OK for travel over the weekend, Kyker said.

“We will work on this all next week,” he said.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen Hinton

Earleen creates content and oversees production of 8 community weeklies. She has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.