Saturday, December 16, 2017
News Roundup

Another sinkhole opens as repair work begins on Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — The bad news is that the contractor working on Mariner Boulevard to permanently repair sinkholes that formed during Tropical Storm Debby opened up another 6-foot-wide, 8-foot-deep hole this week.

The good news: The additional hole is not expected to lengthen the time the roadway will be closed to through traffic.

As originally announced, the stretch of the road just north of Spring Hill Drive should reopen by 6 p.m. Dec. 14, Brian Malmberg, the county's director of transportation services, said Wednesday.

Delays caused by the detours along Linden Drive and Maderia Street have lit up the switchboard at the county's transportation services office since the road closure began at 7 a.m. Monday.

In late June, Debby dumped more than a foot of rain across Hernando County, and sinkholes appeared on Mariner Boulevard, surrounding streets and at numerous other locations. For 10 days, the stretch of busy roadway, which sees about 21,000 vehicles a day, was closed as temporary repairs were made using fill dirt.

Workers then patched the road, and traffic resumed. At the time, officials said they believed the underground weaknesses were isolated.

As equipment arrived at the site several days ago and permanent repairs began, the new hole appeared. Like the other voids, the new hole will be filled with concrete grout and pins, the same process used for homes found to have sinkholes, officials said.

The county hired LRE Ground Services for the job after seeking quotes. The job will cost $181,155, considerably less than the original estimate of $350,000.

"You just don't know how much grout you're going to pump,'' Malmberg said.

Filling the new hole with grout will probably cost another $8,000, according to Mark Guttman, engineering services manager for the county.

Guttman said the holes on Mariner were not immediately repaired with grout because the county didn't have the money. But once officials learned that they could seek reimbursement for the repairs through the Federal Highway Administration, they moved forward with the permanent fix, seeking quotes for the work under emergency rules.

The County Commission will be asked to ratify the contract later this month.

After the grout work is completed next week, the county will allow the ground to settle for two weeks. If there is no need for further repairs, final paving will begin.

Malmberg noted that the paving will be done one lane at a time, so he does not anticipate having to close the entire stretch of Mariner during that process.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Comments
Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

Q&A with Syracuse coach Benoit Groulx about the Lightning’s next generation

DENVER — There might be one team in hockey hotter than the Lightning.It is Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, Syracuse.The Crunch had won nine straight heading into Friday’s game against Providence. Why is this important? While the AHL is a developmental lea...
Published: 12/16/17

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 9 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 11 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 12 hours ago