CRESTVIEW — The City Council unanimously approved a request by Public Works to repair a leaking 18-inch storm water pipe that caused a sinkhole to form between two homes on Denise Drive.

CRESTVIEW — The City Council has unanimously approved Public Works’ request to repair a leaking 18-inch storm-water runoff pipe that caused a sinkhole to form on Denise Drive.

Public Works Director Wayne Steele said a resident alerted him July 17 that the sinkhole had appeared between his house and a neighbor's home in the Antioch Estates subdivision.

An underground video inspection revealed three holes have appeared in the pipe, most likely aggravated by the excessive recent rainfall, Steele said.

The pipe — which runs from a drain on Denise Drive at the base of a hill opposite the homes — empties into a retention pond below a sharp slope behind the residences.

"The small sinkhole over the weekend turned into a large sinkhole," Steele said.

Because the pipe is buried 15 feet below the ground, it is impossible to dig it up for replacement, particularly given the close proximity of the two houses.

The solution, Steele said, is to install a Fiberglas liner the pipe’s length from the street to the retention pond.

"They close it up and fill it with steam and it cures in place," Steele said. "It's like a brand new PVC pipe."

Following city purchasing procedure, Steele solicited bids from three companies and received two responses. The least expensive, at $79.99 per foot, represents a total of $12,400 for the project, he said.

"It is expensive, but in this case we don't have a choice," Steele said. "We run the risk of jeopardizing the foundations of these homes if this keeps getting bigger."

The third company could not submit a bid because it could not move its equipment to Crestview fast enough, Steele said.

Because it is an emergency, the council could immediately authorize Steele to accept the lowest bid, city attorney Jerry Miller said.

Miller also recommended the council consider increasing Steele's approval authority beyond the current $7,500 limit for emergency repair work.

Steele said the bidder could "mobilize and start this week."