Broken pipe causes ground collapse near Hwy 46 in Dickson - WSMV News 4

Broken pipe causes ground collapse near Hwy 46 in Dickson

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Officials say a broken pipe is to blame for the sinkhole. (WSMV) Officials say a broken pipe is to blame for the sinkhole. (WSMV)

The ground opened up near Highway 46 in Dickson Tuesday morning, taking two cars from an auto dealer with it. Dickson officials said a broken pipe 25 below the surface is to blame for the problem.

The owner of Coltrane Auto Sales declined to appear on camera but told News 4 they've talked to the city and state about the growing problem since July.

The owner said they don't know what this will do for business. One of the two cars lost was supposed to go home with someone Tuesday, but the water levels got high enough, the owner said nothing could be done to save the vehicle. The owner also worried how he'll continue business when much of the lot is taken for repairs to the collapse.

"As long as it keeps raining or we have wet conditions, it's going to get worse," said Dickson City Administrator Rydell Wesson.

"There's 30,000 cars every day traveling down that highway," Wesson added, referring to Highway 46, just feet from the collapse in the ground. "As it keeps eroding, it's about to get under the highway and cause some traffic problems there, I'm sure."

The owner said he's long been unclear who's responsible for the fix.

"It happens to not be on the city's right-of-way," Wesson said. "It belongs to the state right-of-way or private property."

A representative for the Tennessee Department of Transportation said in a statement:

We have spoken with city officials and the property owner several times regarding this issue. The drainage issues are not from TDOT drainage structures. If the drainage failure encroaches onto the roadway, TDOT will do what is necessary to make repairs to the roadway. TDOT will continue discussions with the city and property owner.

For now, the owner said they're left without plumbing and with a big problem on their lot. He said they're talking to their attorney as they try to figure out what to do in the situation next.

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