Lehigh Valley

Building inspectors to decide safety of sinkhole homes

Building inspectors to decide safety of sinkhole homes

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Will they stay or will they go?    

Allentown's building inspectors must decide whether several homes that had a run-in with a big sinkhole will have to come down.

Inspectors toured the scene on N. 10th Street Tuesday.

Now the residents who live there are anxiously awaiting the final decision.

City officials have been saying for days that two of the seven homes will likely come down..

But as the day progressed it became easier to see why.

The sidewalk in front of 343 N. 10th Street in Allentown looks like it's collapsing under the weight of the house.  The bottom row of bricks appears bowed.  Underneath that very same sidewalk is what looks like a void.

City officials say the epicenter of a massive sinkhole that opened up Thursday leads under a row of homes, right under 341 and 343.

Officials say both will likely have to be torn down but engineers are trying to figure out a way to save the historic homes.

Engineers inspected the damage to the homes and those on both sides, looking for signs of structural damage.

Residents are hoping to hear something from the city soon so they can make necessary plans.
Meantime crews continue to work at repairing N. 10th street, first by digging and then by filling the massive crater with dirt, rocks and a cement mixture.

City officials say if any of the homes are torn down, the demolition will have to wait until the road is repaired so heavy equipment can be brought in.

Crews say that could take at least a week or longer.

City spokesmen say they have no idea when the engineers will complete their report.

Once it's done, the city will meet with residents to help them understand what will happen next.

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