GOSHEN — The city of Goshen hopes to begin final investigations into the vaults below downtown buildings within the next several weeks.
The Redevelopment Commission awarded a bid last week to Blood Hound Inc. for a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to assist the city with the inspection of the remaining vaults that have not been examined.
Inspection of the vaults began in the summer of 2012 after Dew Drop Inn owner Ken Carner fell through a hole in the sidewalk in front of his building.
Inspectors determined that the collapse was due to the deterioration of the vault beneath the building and the city began inspecting other vaults to see what shape they were in and if they had been filled in.
There are still 47 locations, however, that inspectors labeled as “follow-up, not sure if a vault was backfilled.” Those vaults have not been inspected because investigators have not been able to gain access to them.
In order to follow up on those vaults in a non-destructive manner, the city’s engineering department advertised for bids requesting GPR services to determine if any of the remaining vaults need to be repaired or filled in.
The GPR sends radar signals into the ground that will be able to identify whether or not there are voids in the vaults.
If locations are found to have empty vaults that require filling, building owners will be able to receive help from the city.
Goshen expanded its public right-of-way sidewalk repair program to help ease the cost of filling in downtown vaults. The program allows building owners to request the cost of filling in vaults that reach into the public right-of-way be split between the owner and the city.
Goshen utilities engineer Dustin Sailor said the city’s legal department is currently working on the contract with Blood Hound, but hopes work will begin within the next three weeks.