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Sink Hole Repairs

For weeks, drivers passing by a longtime north Asheville landmark store Ski Country have wondered exactly what was going on with an expanding sinkhole in the parking lot. 

"It's certainly stressful, very stressful," said store owner Craig Friedrich as he looked out over the torn up lot he owns. 

"We're in an emergency situation."

Friedrich began a repair project in mid-June to fix a collapsed storm drain pipe beneath his parking lot property. But the summer's heavy rains wreaked havoc with the project forcing crews to dig deeper and wider to make necessary repairs.

"95% of the people just assume the city is paying for it," said Friedrich. 

But the city is not. As property owner Friedrich is responsible for any and all storm water drain repairs and construction. Friedrich paid a crew including an engineer and project manager six years ago to fix the drain but he said the job was botched. His building is also home to the North Asheville AAA office which has decided to temporarily close due to concerns about members coming in and out of the closed off parking lot.

"This is one of our busiest times of the year for members doing summer drives and international trips," said Susan Ledford with AAA. "We have a staff of 12 from our north Asheville office who are now working at our south Asheville location."

The good news is Friedrich said the sinkhole and pipes should be repaired and filled in in the next ten days by Friday August 9th. He estimates the repair work will run him $250,000 and insurance will not cover it. Friedrich is determined to stay open with customers able to park in the adjacent lot to the south which is anchored by a Fresh Market grocery store. The project was supposed to be completed weeks ago but the weather was something Friedrich could not stop.

"Every day you go to sleep and every time it rains you just don't know," said Friedrich. "Mother nature can do a lot of damage."

by Kimberly King

Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports


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