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Why can’t manhole covers on Oleander Drive be raised flush with the pavement?

Julian March

This manhold covers on Oleander Drive isn't flush with the street and poses a hazard to cars. Staff photo by Julian March.

The compete question: The manhole covers on Oleander in front of Ford Motors have dropped causing damage to cars crossing over them. Why can’t they be raised flush with the pavement?

 And the answer: There was a damaged city stormwater manhole cover that was deemed hazardous and received emergency repairs, said Harvey London, the city’s stormwater drainage manager.

“That one definitely needs some repair,” London said on March 28, 2012, when he saw a picture of the manhole cover.

Based on a complaint, officials were already looking at the manhole cover when a reporter contacted the stormwater office.

“The problem was getting worse very rapidly,” London said.

A lot of trucks pass over that section of Oleander, London said, which could have damaged the cover. Crews will replace some asphalt and ensure the casting is at the same elevation as the pavement.

A second manhole cover nearby will also likely need attention sometime soon, London said, but it was not as drastic as the badly damaged one.

If you have noticed a hazardous manhole cover, it could belong to several organizations, including the city, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority or a telephone company.

London recommends contacting the drainage department at 341-4646 to report the manhole cover so city staff can investigate.

UPDATE: City stormwater crews repaired the manhole cover on March 28, 2012, said David Mayes, a city stormwater services manager.


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