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The Villages
Friday, July 12, 2024

Busy tunnel to close later this month for sinkhole repair

A tunnel that serves as an important transportation artery will close later this month for repair after the discovery of a sinkhole.

The sinkhole activity was discovered in May at tunnel M-18 at Morse Boulevard and Meggison Trail.

The Project Wide Advisory Committee on Monday heard an update on the status of the tunnel.

Ground penetrating radar was used May 13, 2024 at Tunnel M 18 at Morse Boulevard and Meggison Road to determine if depressions had formed
Ground penetrating radar was used May 13 at Tunnel M-18 at Morse Boulevard and Meggison Road to determine if depressions had formed.

Structural engineers have identified no immediate public safety hazards,” said Mike Harris of District Property Management.

However, they do recommend that the geological anomalies be remediated and the soil stabilized.

Andreyev Engineering, Inc. will be paid $114,840 to perform the recommended concrete grout injection at the site.

In addition to the Andreyev Engineering, Inc. proposal, there will be costs for maintenance of traffic and potential property repairs such as landscape and asphalt repairs, which are estimated to be an additional $45,000. The remediation project for tunnel M-18 is estimated to have an approximate cost of $160,000. The previous geological investigation cost $42,568 bringing the total project to $207,000.

Harris said the repair will be performed with “moderate impact” on local traffic, needing a single lane closure in the northbound and southbound lanes of Morse Boulevard for concrete trucks to park near the tunnel. Sumter County has approved the road right-of-way closure permit. There will be alternating closures of the multi-modal paths connecting to the tunnel as the work progresses. The connection of Corbin Trail to McNeil Drive will allow multi-modal path traffic to be rerouted during the tunnel closure.

“This repair is critical and requires urgency to ensure the structural integrity of the tunnel and safety for the public,” Harris added.

Once approved, this repair is tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of July. The duration of the repair work is anticipated to take approximately two weeks or less to complete.

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