Gaping sinkhole mere yards from Northport City Hall

Big sinkhole near Northport city hall
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 9:26 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2022 at 9:29 PM CST
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NORTHPORT, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Northport is pouring big money in a hole and it’s all for the right reasons! Part of the earth cratered mere yards from city hall off McFarland Boulevard.

It started out ten feet deep, but it’s a lot deeper now and much wider. Fixing it is going take awhile. The sinkhole is located to the east of Northport City Hall and Mayor Bobby Herndon had no choice but to confront it head on with more than one million dollars to fix it.

“And over the course of time, the pipes rusted, collapsed and created these gigantic sinkholes,” said Mayor Herndon.

Sinkholes are not new in Alabama. There are thousands of situations like this across the state and those are the ones they know of.

“There are thousands of sinkholes that have been mapped out in the state. This is just a natural process of our geological make-up in certain areas and areas we live in. One is limestone which involves water and that’s just a natural process,” said Sandy Ebersole, a geologist for Geological Survey of Alabama.

In many cases, repairing a sinkhole involves far more than just pouring new dirt in to fill it up, such is the case with the one near Northport City Hall. That’s why the price tag is high, but worth it to ensure public safety. This one is located between city hall and a strip of businesses.

“The drain pipes we installed ran well north of the city hall property. We’re having to trace them out. We’re having to fix that problem,” said Mayor Herndon.

The Mayor says the funds are coming from the city’s general fund and Northport First, which is a one cent additional sales tax the city passed about two years ago to help fund local projects.

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