'Dig the Commons' work shifts focus on shopping center lot

Work being done to repair shopping center lot

EXETER TWP., Pa. - An ongoing effort to repair a shopping center parking lot plagued by sinkholes has made another move.

The Exeter Commons shopping center in Exeter Township is more than 18 months into its "Dig the Commons" project. The initiative, which began in July 2016, combines renovations and marketing into a single effort to repair the expansive parking lot along Route 422.

The latest phase of the project is focusing on the area of the lot in front of Five Below, which remains open for business. An entrance to that side of the lot, however, has been closed to traffic.

The work, officials said, is being done in phases so as to minimize the impact on the center's businesses and their customers.

The project's first phase was done in the area of a sinkhole that opened on the western end of the lot, in front of Lowe's, in 2010, about a year after the shopping center opened.

Work last spring shifted to the eastern end of the lot, in front of Moe's Southwest Grill, Hallmark, LA Nails, and Wine & Spirits, where a 15-foot deep, 20-foot wide sinkhole opened after days of drenching rain in April 2014.

Crews worked weeks to fill the hole and re-pave the lot, but center officials said they determined a "more encompassing renovation" was necessary as a long-term solution to the problem.

A team of experts hired by the center had to reopen the area around that sinkhole, going wider and deeper to improve the parking lot's storm-water system.

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