Sinkhole in Detroit alley disrupting business, concerning neighbors

- Update - 10:30 a.m. Tuesday: It has been determined the pipe causing the sinkhole is not city owned. It appears the customer's private sewer line has collapsed. DWSD will place a remote camera in the hole to verify. When asked if the city would make the repair and bill the city for it: "We will make recommendation for property owner to hire a licensed plumber. The City cannot undertake the legal risk of fixing private property."

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A sinkhole in a Detroit alley is disrupting a few business activities and worrying some neighbors who feel it could become very dangerous.

A tree cutting service working to remove massive logs weighing around 18,000 pounds needs the help of its heavy truck to do the work 

"We were about to bring back a 30,000 pound vehicle back here to pick up the logs to remove unfortunately we could not do so," said Thomas Gray, owner of Grays Outdoor Services.

He says the culprit is a massive sinkhole.

Fearing for the safety of his crew, Gray says he now has to find another way to safely remove the logs.

"The weight of the vehicle with the crumbling concrete could be a situation. I'm surprised there hasn't been another situation with 60,000-pound garbage trucks rolling across this," he said.

People living in the area say the problem isn't new.

"It's been over a year," said neighbor Tom Friedlund. "We noticed it. One of tenants noticed it. ... We alerted city but like I said, I haven't seen anyone out here."

Gray called police and the Fox 2 Problem Solvers for help.

"City needs to get out here and start evaluating streets a little more and make sure there arent situations like this. Because they're putting people like me, other truck drivers, residents, city workers all at risk," he said.

After contacting city officials, FOX 2 was told:

"DWSD is sending a crew to investigate and secure the area. However, we do not have verification on the cause. If we confirm there is pipe underneath causing this issue...DWSD will conduct a full investigation to identify and schedule the necessary repair."

Gray says he hopes there's a solution soon so he can get back to business.

"It hurts our bottom line at the end of the day because we can't complete our projects," he said.

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