Driveway sinkhole update

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Sinkholes are not suppose to form in asphalt driveways. So, when they started showing up Sean Singleton called 12 with questions about possible damage to his home.

It seems any driveway repairs will likely be the homeowner's problem to fix. Chesterfield did send out two managers who supported the county and 'softened' remarks about the builder.

Chesterfield dispatched a pair of plumbing and mechanical supervisors from the Building Inspection Department to look at the newest driveway sinkhole and examine another that was previously patched.

"I'm thinking the water line went across this way and that may have been where they filled in the water line, I don't know," said Plumbing-Mechanical, Inspection Supervisor Curt Campbell.

Their visual inspection revealed no definitive cause for the small driveway collapses.

"You don't know that until, somebody would have to dig it up," Campbell said.

It's apparent any digging to find a cause, repair, or pin down blame; homeowner Sean Singleton will be footing the bill.

"It's on private property. The Utilities Department owns the meter but it's on private property. There's nothing that we can do at this point," said Campbell.

"I want it fixed and I want to know that there are no problems elsewhere. You know this is the second one and it seems to be getting closer to the house. So, where is it going to stop?" asked Singleton.

Previously the builder 'Emerald homes' and the county blamed each other for failing to compress and tightly pack the trench for the sewer line before the driveway was paved. Now though, it seems the county has softened its stance.

"There's nothing else the contractor can do that indentions won't be made when ground settles," said Campbell. "The work that was done was done properly. We don't control settlement after periods of time in yards."

Inspector Campbell also says these are 'impressions' not 'sinkholes' and they are no threat to Singleton's home.

"If that was going to happen you would already see some indentions in other places in the yard," Campbell said.

'Emerald Homes' says not responsible but it wants to help and is willing to have more discussion but it believes responsibility should be divided 4-ways…including, the county, the driveway paver, and the homeowner. 

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