Repair work begins on Big Spring Park sinkhole

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s hard not to notice. City officials fenced off a big chunk of green space in the heart of downtown Huntsville.

Small sinkholes formed in Big Spring Park in the spring should be taken care of by fall.

Studies conducted by the city determined groundwater from the spring is causing the voids. Now, the city is working a solution to solve the problem.

Huntsville City Council voted to pay over $123,000 to repair the area near the Big Spring after voids caused holes in the sidewalk.

“We’re going to install a dam underground that’s going to limit water flow to hopefully, in the future, stop all the problems that we’ve been having,” said Jeff Easter, general services director for the city.

The contractor work is expected to start this week, but workmen were at the park Wednesday to get the site ready.

“We’re just preparing for the work,” said Easter, “taking down light fixtures, disconnecting some of the electrical.”

Preparation also included the take-down of a water oak tree that was set to come down later this year.

“But when we got into this project, we decided now was a better time,” said Joy McKee of Huntsville Landscape Management. “It made for an easier transition into the park for the equipment that will be coming in.”

The project will drive metal into the ground to steer the escaped water back toward the canal then filling the cavities with structural foam.

“The contractor has until mid-November to complete the project, at that time, we’ll be able to open the park back up,” said Easter.

Once the work is done, there will be new sidewalks in the area that has been fenced off all summer. The metal dams will stay two feet below the ground, permanently, to try to prevent further voids and holes.