A longtime troublemaker along First Avenue has utility companies headed to the other side of the road.
The move is in response to a March water main break along the 1300 block of First Avenue that led to the reopening of problems associated with a known cavern underneath the street.
Peoples Natural Gas is moving a line to the other side of the avenue, and the Altoona Water Authority plans to do the same in the spring, Mark Criste, chief inspector for the city's Public Works Department, said Tuesday.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Peoples Natural Gas equipment operator Kirk Schilling digs across the 1400 block of First Avenue in Altoona on Tuesday afternoon.
The area is known for line breaks. Subsidence led to the demolition of two houses, one in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s, and apparently led to the water main break on March 22.
"We've seen no problems up there since," Criste said.
Problems did not arise for several years before the problem in March, he said.
Peoples Natural Gas spokesman Barry Kukovich said gas lines were not damaged in March.
Altoona Water Authority Maintenance Supervisor Tim Manley said the waterline is a "priority job" for next year.
The now patched over but still sloping sinkhole is covered in rocks in front of Debbie Schaeffer's home on First Avenue. Her concern is she wants to do some of her own repairs, but she can't yet, she said.
She also wonders if messes such as a neighbor's brick pathway torn up during the repair work will be fixed.
Warren Hayes, who has lived in his home on the other side of the street for more than 50 years, said while there has "been a bit of a mess for awhile" and it's been "kind of stressful," he thinks the gas company is doing a "pretty good job" moving the gas line.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030. Staff Writer William Kibler contributed to this story.