Aging pipes may lead to more sinkholes in Hickory - | WBTV Charlotte

Aging pipes may lead to more sinkholes in Hickory

(Source: WBTV/File) (Source: WBTV/File)
HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

Hickory is digging itself out of yet another sinkhole, and it's one that comes with a warning.

The earth opened right in the middle of Highway 127 Tuesday. Getting to their destination is now taking a little longer for many drivers in Hickory. Hwy 127 is one of the city's main arteries.

Mayor Rudy Wright said the cause of the sinkhole was easy to find.

"This was the failure of an old pipe," Wright said. ”I was told it was 100 years old."

 Wright blames it on wear, tear, and time.

What's happening here in many ways is a warning not only for the community, but also to other nearby towns. The mayor has been keeping tabs on line, and worries about how stable the town's infrastructure is.

"We have a lot of old pipes, and DOT has a lot more than we do. So folks just need to understand we have an infrastructure issue with the old pipes and we need to be fixing them."

Hickory has a checkered relationship with sinkholes going back several years. It's been 15 years since a new Corvette was swallowed at the old Buffalo Cafe. That's where one sinkhole on private property expanded into two, and eventually consumed the parking lot.

Hardship is what's now expected for Hickory drivers like Tammie Sims. Motorists here are confused by the detours, and are making new choices far as getting from point A to point B.

"[Hwy] 127 is a busy road. People have got to get back and forth to work, kids to school, they need to start maintaining the roads a little better," Sims said.

Mayor Wright is not just worried about the roads in the town, but also eroding pipes underground.

"We do need to get ahead of it, we all do," Wright said.

The mayor also said that he expects the work to take up to a month.

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