Reading Health System Spring Ridge Campus | Projects | Empire Services, Reading PA
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Reading Health System Spring Ridge Campus

Reading Health System Spring Ridge Campus

““This was a really outstanding combined effort,” said Smith. “These guys answer the call on a weekend because they have great pride in their work, and in every job we do.”

Empire Responds to Sinkhole Emergency at Reading Health System's Spring Ridge Campus

It was 12:30 p.m. on Sat. May 10, 2014, when Empire received the emergency call. A 30-by-40-foot sinkhole had opened up in a grassy area in the parking lot of Reading Health System’s Spring Ridge Campus.

Experts from Empire Services, Delaware Valley Contractors (DVC) and Delaware Valley Utility Contractors (DVUC) – three subsidiary companies within the Empire Group - arrived on the scene within 30 minutes. The crews worked through Mother’s Day weekend to restore safety and stability to the site.

“First all utilities had to be located and shut off,” said Dean Smith, Vice President of Operations of Empire Services. “Then we started to dig out all the mud with a John Deere 200 excavator. Next we used a Dickinson crane to remove the water meter pit.”

Reading Health System officials reported to the media that the sinkhole occurred in the worst possible spot - where all the campus’ utility and telecommunications systems connect to external lines. They said the sinkhole might have been caused by a snapped water line.

An OSHA official from Harrisburg arrived at the site on Mon. May 12. “The OSHA inspection went very well,” said Smith. “We were in compliance with all regulations.”

The surgery and medical center closed through Monday. The next day, all utilities were restored and the facility reopened.

Empire’s work continued for the next two weeks, and included filling in the 17-foot deep hole with 230 tons of stone, followed by lean concrete, soil, and then blacktop.