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TDOT, City of Dickson refuse repairs as sinkhole grows towards roadway

TDOT, City of Dickson refuse repairs as sinkhole grows towards roadway (Fox 17 News)

TDOT and the City of Dickson are refusing to repair a sinkhole inching closer to Highway 46 on Thursday.

As the debate over who should fix the problem continues, business owners say they’re paying the price. Vernon Coltrane has watched his business sink right along with a giant hole in the parking lot of Coltrane Auto Sales.

“I can’t work around where people are scared to walk across my parking lot," Coltrane said. "The moving was not an option. That had to happen."

A storm drain and hole he complained about in July collapsed last month during heavy rain. Coltrane said he’s spent more than $10,000 moving across the street, not to mention the lost revenue.

“I still have not heard anybody say who’s responsible for it out of the entire list, but I’m the only one that is suffering when it comes to expenses,” Coltrane said.

Tim Southerland of A-1 Auto Glass would also like answers.

"The biggest reason it’s frustrating is because it’s been so long," Southerland said. "Since that private infrastructure was put in there’s nobody is to blame. Essentially we feel city, county, state or somebody should take over that infrastructure once it becomes public domain."

City Administrator Rydell Wesson said the pipe dates back to 1968 and can't be repaired with taxpayer money.

“A private construction company along with the property owner at that time was hired to fill in the valley and lay that pipe so it is an improvement to private property,” Wesson said.

In a previous interview, a TDOT spokesperson said TDOT is not responsible for the drainage structures, but if the failure starts to impact the roadway they could be forced to make the necessary repairs.

It’s not the answer business owners want to hear.

“We have a good 30 foot circle parking lot that just increasingly sinking more and more," Southerland said. "It’s very frustrating."

“I’d like someone to step up and say this is what money it cost you," Coultrane said. "Let’s try to help you with that but sure we both know not going to happen."

Business owners point to orange paint used by surveyors to mark the property line. They believe it clearly shows the repairs are in the public right of way and should be covered by the city or State Highway Department.

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