- Cullman, Alabama

August 26, 2013

City filling decades-old pit in front of econ. dev office

By Trent Moore
The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — City workers are filling in a damaged water tank in front of Cullman City Economic Development Agency, that has most-recently been paved over and used as a parking lot.

The tank was last used in the mid-1960s in conjunction with the city’s old water treatment plant that was torn down decades ago. After the plant was closed, the pit was braced with pillars and paved over, eventually becoming the front lot of the economic development office.

The lot, located across the street from Festhalle Market Platz on First Avenue NE, will be closed this week while street department crews make the necessary repairs.

Crews have dug up much of the old tank, revealing a massive pit at least 12 feet deep that runs almost the length of the building. The tank was recently checked for safety concerns, and officials found that many of the concrete posts holding up the cover had started to wash out and decay.

Had it not been repaired, officials worry portions of the parking lot could have eventually started to sink. The street department has now been called in to fill the pit and repave the lot.

“From what I understand, the pit used to be a water tank, and when they decided to eliminate the plant, they put some cross beams and concrete pillars inside it, and put a concrete overlay on it,” street department superintendent Rick Henry explained. “At some point they put asphalt on top of it, after that.  They recently discovered there were problems with one or two of the pillars, and we’ve been told to fill it in to avoid any safety concerns.”

Barring any weather delays, Henry said he expects the pit to be filled within a few days and repaving to be complete by the end of the week.

Local officials are unsure of exactly when the old water treatment plant was first built, but believe it was decommissioned in the mid-1960s.

‰ Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.