MoDOT offers to 'work with' property owner to repair giant sinkhole

Sugar Creek, Mo. - During a rare rain storm last summer, a giant sinkhole suddenly appeared in Mark Cosgrove's used car lot and nearly swallowed up parked cars.

The cause? A break in an underground storm culvert carrying runoff water under the Sugar Creek car lot and 24 highway.

"It's a Missouri waterway, and I don't understand how we're responsible for everybody's storm drain water," Cosgrove said in October.

He turned to the city of Sugar Creek and Missouri agencies for help repairing the break before contacting Call For Action. Sugar Creek, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources have been investigating. 

"Since you guys contacted DNR, they have got the ball rolling -- actually have people come out and look at the problem," Cosgrove said.  

But in recent days, Cosgrove received letters from MoDOT and Sugar Creek stating the responsibility to repair the broken underground culvert falls to Cosgrove. MoDOT also stated that the collapse obstructs storm water drainage, a problem made more serious by Cosgrove filling in the sinkhole without repairing it.

MoDOT investigated easements, right of ways and property deed language dating back to 1931. The agency said that a former property owner in the 60s installed the underground culvert which collapsed. It was connected to the culvert running under Highway 24.

"If the collapse is left unrepaired, we have concerns about the condition of 24 Highway," and the safety for drivers," MoDOT wrote in the letter.

MoDOT and Sugar Creek both offered to work with Cosgrove to fix the underground culvert. Cosgrove has hired an attorney.



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