Despite sinkhole, BNSF will not have to stop freight service through Burlington, Iowa

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The city of Burlington, Iowa, is in the beginning stages of dealing with a sinkhole underneath railroad tracks.

The city of Burlington, Iowa, made an emergency declaration on Nov. 15 when a sinkhole was discovered under BNSF railroad tracks.

The sinkhole is sitting at Seventh and Valley streets and was caused by a sewer basin collapse on Market Street. The stone-arch sewer runs along Valley Street and is 8 ft wide by 8 ft tall.

BNSF was the first to spot the sinkhole, and the city dropped a camera down a manhole to look down the sewer line to check for damage. Delamination of stones in the arch also was observed.

Due to the emergency declaration the city staff can OK the expense immediately without city council approval.

Klingner and Associates is currently inspecting the sinkhole. Officials believe the best way to fix the problem is to cut into a different section of the sewer and install rebar for reinforcement. The cost will most likely be more than $100,000.

BNSF, however, will continue to run over the sinkhole because trains are not causing additional damage.

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