FARMINGTON — When a tire on a front-end loader went through the pavement on Front Street on Wednesday morning, the town’s Public Works Department discovered they had a mystery on their hands.

“We’re baffled,” department director Denis Castonguay said. “We’ve found part of the street is hollow.”

The sinkhole in front of the Front Street Exchange was the second in that area recently.

The department brought the Ted Berry Co. in to put cameras up pipes in the road to look for issues Wednesday morning.

“There’s no problem with drainage, sewer or the storm basins,” he said.  “But, we have a big issue.”

A crew from E.L. Vining & Son started digging by noon Wednesday. At about 4 feet, with no apparent reason found, a cage was brought in to keep the ground from collapsing.

“We’re going deeper,” a Vining worker said.

Last week, Town Manager Richard Davis gave the Board of Selectmen an update on a sinkhole found near the Front Street Exchange building. He thought it might have developed from recent rains.

The town crew backfilled the hole with gravel until officials can determine what caused it, Davis said. The area is slated for a final paving this year.

The road was rebuilt within the last couple years, Castonguay said.

He said he expected the upper section of Front Street to open later Wednesday and hopes they’ll find a simple cause that can quickly be fixed.

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