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A Warren city garbage truck was caught in a sinkhole early Wednesday morning.
The truck was caught in a sinkhole on Roosevelt Street N.W. off Mahoning Avenue. Garbage collector Larry Simpson said he was just about done with his route when the truck got stuck.
“As I was riding by it, it just sunk. I felt it bog down, and I tried to gun it so it wouldn’t sink and it just dropped,” said Simpson.
Tina Milner lives nearby and said there has been a water problem on the street for the last three and half years. Tuesday, the city dug that portion of the street to find the leak and patched the hole with dirt and gravel.
“When they patched it, they patched it with dirt and unfortunately the water underneath there made it a nice little mud pit for that garbage truck. So when it went over it, it sunk down deep,” said Milner.
The truck was towed from the sinkhole a couple hours later and crews worked to repair the hole.
Neighbors said manhole covers have sunk recently on the street and they are fearful the road is not safe.
“We are just really concerned that we’ll drive out on the street some day and the whole street will collapse,” said Milner.
Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said crews have been to the street many times to fix the problem, but there are many obstacles such as the old brick street underneath the asphalt and layers of clay.
“We are talking very old waterline infrastructure that’s not unique to Roosevelt,” said Cantalamessa. “It’s a problem all over the country quite frankly, and that’s what happens when waterlines get to be that age. They have more delicate stress points, and occasionally you will have breaks.”
The problem is something Cantalamessa said will get worse. Warren is currently part of a consortium of cities lobbying lawmakers in Washington for assistance to replace or repair aging infrastructure.