By Andy Tarnoff Publisher Published Sep 13, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I just got an e-mail from Jim Plaisted at the East Side Association clarifying another update on the now infamous sinkhole on Oakland and North Avenues.

Looks like the repairs are being delayed again. The advisory from the DPW says the street will be partially opened to one lane of traffic in each direction on Sept. 20, which is a little confusing, as Plaisted notes. He says he's clarified, however, that next Monday is, indeed, the day for traffic restoration.

My take? I'm no civil engineer, but this is drawing out for too long. I appreciate that everyone is working as hard as they can, but these several delays are getting a little old.

Here's the complete advisory from Cecilia Gilbert at the DPW:

Update on Sinkhole at Oakland and North Avenue

The torrential rain event of July 22, 2010 resulted in the failure of a sewer manhole and resulted in the collapse of a 66-inch combined sewer and underlying utilities and pavement in the intersection of E. North Ave and N. Oakland Ave. Work was initiated around the clock, double shifts and weekends to stabilize the area and to accelerate this restoration effort as quickly as possible. Various contractors and subcontractors have worked diligently on this emergency work.

The schedule of work has been extended an additional two weeks until Sept 20, 2010 before the street can be partially opened to one lane of traffic in each direction. The initial estimate of at least six weeks to complete this work was based on the preliminary assessment of the damage and the anticipated repairs. Once the area was stabilized, a more detailed assessment of the underground facilities could be made and additional repairs were subsequently required.

This additional work included:


  • Removal of excessive debris washed downstream in the 66-inch sewer.
  • Replacement of the 42-inch water main originally thought not to be damaged.
  • Replacement of additional sections of sewer pipe.
  • Installation of temporary sewer by-passes around the excavated area.
  • Extensive forming and concrete placement to reinforce sewer facilities.

All sewer work has now been complete and the water main replacement work is ongoing.

Impacted underground facilities will be restored including City communications, traffic signal and street lighting as well as We Energies electrical conduit and AT&T conduit. Surface pavement, curbs and sidewalk will be phased in as excavation work in the area is completed.

A sewer lining project will begin in the area which was delayed this summer due to this emergency work. This will result in minor traffic restrictions over the next couple of months.

DPW recognizes the adverse impact to area residents and businesses while this major intersection has been closed. The area business district has been an active partner in developing alternate traffic patterns, signage as well as communicating status reports during this time as work progressed.

Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.

Before launching in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.

Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.