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Sinkhole found near highway
The collapse of drainage tiles is being blamed for a sinkhole at the intersection of Smithville Highway and Fairgrounds Road.

A sinkhole has been discovered on Smithville Highway. The cavity lies at its intersection with Fair-grounds Road.
“We were alerted to it this morning by the property owner,” said McMinnville Public Works Depart-ment assistant director Brad Hennessee on Friday. “We’ve got to dig down and see if it’s the drainage tile. If it is, it’s our problem. We measured it. We have to dig down 12 feet in order to get to it.”
The sinkhole extends from private property to the sidewalk and could have compromised that section of sidewalk or the road. However, the extent of damage will not be known until the area is excavated.
An unplanned dig in the area will require a crew, and a crew requires Public Works employees to be removed from other jobs. Currently, up to three have been working on installing seats in the Park Theater balcony.
Hennessee expressed regret for having to pull men off the theater job in order to fix the sinkhole.
“We’ve had guys at the theater installing the seats," said Hennessee. "It’s been a slow process and we keep having to pull them off that to work on other jobs. I hate this, but this sinkhole takes priority.”
Installation of the 194 seats started the week of May 22. The seats were not preassembled. They came in boxes, in pieces, with a diagram that must be followed exactly for proper assembly and installation.
No timeframe is available for either the sinkhole work or Park Theater’s balcony seats to be complete.