TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The sinkhole saga continues on Rice Road in Tyler.

“Once we found the sinkhole and we started excavating and digging down there it was almost like a pandora’s box of things that we kind of found,” said Kate Dietz, PE, City of Tyler Director of Utilities.

Starting Sunday night, a portion of Rice Road from S. Broadway Avenue to Old Bullard Road will be closed. Old Bullard Road will be closed to northbound traffic as well.

SouthSide Furniture says they lost customers due to the issue. So, to bring people back along with their discount they are doing a sinkhole recliner giveaway.

“I’m ready for it to be over. It’s been rough getting in and out of here, and I know that every other business around here is ready for it too,” said Jennifer Boies, sales, SouthSide Furniture.

Work on the road and sinkhole is slated to begin on Monday morning, according to the city of Tyler. Signage will be posted to help guide drivers while they deal with the road work.

“Traffic will still be able to go North and South on Old Bullard, similar to when we did the temporary pavement repair,” said Dietz.

They hope to have the sinkhole repaired, the road repaved and be ready to open again on Tuesday, Jan. 17, depending on weather and road conditions.

Problems began on Dec. 1 when Rice Road closed due to the discovery of the sinkhole. Crews initially estimated repairs could take up to 72 hours, but that timeline was extended due to setbacks including the location of telecommunication, fiber, gas and other utility lines buried in the area.

The store says all they can do is hope everything gets fixed this time around and they can return to business as normal. The recliner is a part of a drawing which will happen the day the road is officially fixed.

“So we offered an extra percentage off during the month of December, we actually still have the percentage off because it’s still a mess out there,” said Boies. “Hopefully it doesn’t take as long to fix as it did the month of December, hopefully, they are in and out in a few days.”

City officials told KETK that weather, age of the infrastructure and depth to reach the bottom of the manhole also contributed to the extension of the repairs.

“We hope to have that permanent pavement repair done on Monday, so we can open up that cross-flow traffic on Tuesday,” said Dietz.

After an investigation, city officials decided a damaged storm water line caused soil to be displaced into the storm sewer line, which let water saturate the ground under the road.

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