FARMINGTON — The sinkhole that developed Wednesday on Front Street is fixed, at least for now. 

A permanent fix, anticipated to be expensive, will have to be budgeted, Town Manager Richard Davis said Thursday.

The tire on a front-end loader went through the pavement Wednesday following the heavy rains Tuesday night. The road was dug up to find the cause and make repairs, according to Public Works Director Denis Castonguay.

“We believe the cause to be the poor condition of the pipe that runs across Prescott Field and carries the drainage from Front Street out to the river,” Davis said. “This outfall pipe is unable to handle sudden large amounts of water from these heavy storms, causing it to back up and exit through connecting joints.”

The problem was considered in 2006 during the drainage project on Broadway, Davis said. The town could not afford to replace it, along with the $250,000 project then.

“We are getting updated estimates on the cost of replacing the pipe, which we will take to the selectmen when we receive it,” Davis said. “It will be very expensive.”

The hole is repaired for now. Debris will be cleaned out of the outfall to buy some time until a permanent fix can be budgeted, he said.

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