Cortez East Plaza – Manatee County Sinkhole

Measuring 25 feet long and 10 feet wide, a sinkhole that opened at the Cortez East Plaza shopping center continues to grow and threatens businesses in the area. However, the owner of the property doesn’t seem to address the problem.

The sinkhole has a depth of two feet on one end, and around three feet on the other. The middle part looks deeper and it gets worse with asphalt cracking and drooping about six to seven feet. It was caused by the stormwater pipes that have collapsed so when it rains, the water just flows into the sinkhole, compromising the parking lot.

Some patrons of the shopping center at 655 Cortez Road West expressed concerns about it, and the Manatee County has stepped in to fix the problem. Code enforcement chief Jeff Bowman said Bradenton Associates LLC, the property owner, has had sinkhole problems. Since March 1, the county has been imposing daily fines and the owner was found guilty and fined $500.

According to Building and Development Services Director John Barnott, his code enforcement department has been involved as well to assess if there’s imminent danger to shoppers. However, it is a private property and the owner should be the one to address the problem. Barnott said the engineers would do another assessment and take action from there.

News source: http://www.bradenton.com

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