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Report: Fixing Pasco Co. road with dozens of depressions could negatively impact homes, aquifer

Posted at 5:20 PM, Oct 22, 2019

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A new geophysical evaluation report suggests any remediation on the depressions with sinkhole activity in Pasco County could have adverse effects on homes, and even in the Florida Aquifer.

A report given to county leaders by Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI) suggests fixing a portion of a residential road with remediation efforts will likely be complicated by the underground cave system.

ABC Action News obtained the report that talks about ways to fix Willow Brook Ct. that include compaction grouting, that could have adverse effects to the reported cave system, nearby homes, adjacent wells, performance of the adjacent pond, and the Florida Aquifer.

The Pasco County emergency management director shut down the main road to nearly half a dozen homes in August because of voids underneath the road. The closure has cut off access to people’s driveways because engineers found more than 30 voids below the roadway.

To fix the road, another possible solution includes a structural slab supported on grade beams connected to piers supported on the limestone foundation as one possibility. However, the report states in part, construction vibrations from any remedial activities could induce additional dropouts.

The report clearly states that remediation of the apparent sinkhole activity and stabilizing the roadway is recommended prior to reopening the roadway.

However, no one has a timeline, or solution on what to do.

ABC Action News reported last week on the 76 depressions with confirmed sinkhole activity last week.

RELATED: 76 depressions with sinkhole activity now confirmed in Pasco County neighborhood

A private engineering company stated last week that there is no way to tell if, when, or where more holes could open up -- they also did not have a clear way to fix the growing problem.

The geotechnical engineer also suggests that the county seek a specialty geotechnical contractor to determine the suitability of conventional remedial measures and possible alternative solutions.

They also wrote that any method to stabilize the roadway should be discussed with all stakeholders including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency, and other stakeholders with this project.

“Getting a ‘buy-in’ from all parties will likely reduce the chances of litigation,” it states.

ABC Action News reporter Nicole Grigg reached out to Pasco County officials for a sit-down interview with the emergency management director and the county administrator, however, we are told they are both out of the office on Tuesday.

Neighbors have reached out to us asking for help, as many have unanswered questions.

The county has deemed a residential street too dangerous to drive on, but still there are five properties with people living in them.

We asked a county spokesperson why people are still living there, and houses are not condemned.

A spokesperson told us that the county has determined that the homes show no signs of structural damage, and they are not in danger.

The county adds that the depressions are on private property, therefore the HOA is responsible for remediation of the depressions, one that is at least 25 feet across.

Lakeside Woodland’s HOA president tells us that they have not been able to work on remediation, and says the county has not let them move forward.

On Tuesday, a work crew was extending a fence perimeter around the depressions to keep the public away.

“From the HOA standpoint there is no immediate fix to the problem,” said the president.

He went on to say they would like help from the state, “we’re just a tiny HOA.”

ABC Action News reached out to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection who told us by email that they have reviewed a report provided to them by the county, however it is not one that ABC Action News has received.

The state wrote, "the GeoView, Inc. report was a thorough initial evaluation and the findings were not unexpected for the area. The GPR survey identified subsurface anomalies under the road, some of which were relatively large. These anomalies may or may not be potential future sinkhole locations. DEP recommends, at a minimum, that a licensed professional geotechnical company assess the possible potential for additional sinkhole collapses in this area, so the county can evaluate next steps that could be considered to prioritize public safety."