Both lanes of North Ninth closed

North Ninth Street is closed to both northbound and southbound traffic between West Depot Avenue and West Lowe Avenue effective immediately.

The street was partially closed Wednesday when a sinkhole was discovered under the road near the railroad tracks. At the time, city personnel felt they needed to close only the southbound traffic, but this morning issued a news release indicating it would be closed to both lanes.

Fairfield streets superintendent Darrel Bisgard said the reason for the change is that the city will have to tear up the whole street. After the sinkhole was discovered, Bisgard suspected there was a leak in a nearby storm sewer pipe. A city crew sent a camera down the pipe last week and confirmed it was leaking.

?We don?t know the size [of the sinkhole], but we can see there is a void around the pipe,? Bisgard said. ?We?ll have to replace the storm sewer from the east side to the west side of the street.?

Bisgard said city personnel won?t tear the street today because rain is in the forecast, but they should start tomorrow. After the pipe is replaced, city crews will pack rock on top, then wait several days for the rock to settle as cars drive over it. He hopes the street will reopen next week.