American Society of Civil Engineers

An Overview of Recent Sinkhole Problems in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

by Michael Perlow, Jr., P.E., (Senior Engineer, Pennoni Associates Inc., 2041 Avenue C, Suite 100, Bethlehem, PA 18017)
Section: Prevention and Remediation of Sinkholes and Karstic Settlement, pp. 644-651, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst
Abstract: A series of dramatic sinkhole collapses along the Bushkill Creek in Northampton County, Pennsylvania have resulted in the collapse of a bridge span, damage to a railroad bridge/abutment, and residential properties along the creek. The sinkhole collapses have resulted in a major disruption of traffic, utility services, as well as a significant health and safety hazard. Continual growth of the Bushkill sinkholes have also significantly increased costs to replace the collapsed bridge span and has adversely affected property values in the area. An overview of the unique municipal, private, state and federal governmental effort to develop a long-range stabilization program is presented. A review of the geology and origin of sinkholes in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is presented.

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