Making repairs on the sinkhole in Waterville in front of Schoolhouse Apartments awaits a plan by the state Department of Transportation.
Rich Pierce, president of Housing Management Resources with headquarters in North Quincy, Mass., said last week the state has to approve the design to fill in the hole in front of the apartment building. “We are as frustrated as residents and probably everyone who sees it,’’ he said. “But we are beholden to the state DOT to give permission.’’
Pierce said part of the holdup comes with redesigning the stone arch that was uncovered when the sinkhole opened up the night of the Halloween 2019 storm. The creek runs under Route 12 and under the Schoolhouse property and driveway toward Babbott Avenue.
The stone arch partially collapsed and needs to be shored up. Pierce said it’s also uncertain if the hole will be filled or left open with a barrier.
“We’re on the fifth or sixth design by the state to make repairs,’’ he said. “The latest design is not to fill it.’’
He said the state assured him that the area around the hole, which touches on what was the entrance driveway to the apartment building, is stable. “Our concern is safety with the hole and using the driveway,’’ Pierce said.
“We need that for fire access. The state says you can drive over it once the barrier is in place,’’ Pierce said.
Since the earth gave way to form the hole, a plastic snowfence has circled the perimeter. Pierce said the company has asked for a more secure barrier.
The DOT responded last week and said it would make the area more secure to prevent people or animals from getting too close. “We want this fixed as much as anyone,’’ Pierce said, “but it’s been a slow process. We’re hoping the answer comes soon.’’