noisy manhole cover


Old 05-14-19, 05:09 PM
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noisy manhole cover

Hello, we have had this manhole cover issue for a while; the city maintenance crew could only reapply the sealing strip and then say that nothing else could be done because, according to them, there is nothing wrong with it. They actually laughed at me when I said there has to be something wrong going on.

I could spot two problems right away; please see the photos. First, the cast iron cover sits about 1/2" below the street pavement level. The cover itself sits 1/4" below the rim. Second, I can rock the cover a bit by stepping on it at some spots. As one could expect, the cars speeding downhill once in a while produce a really loud bang when the cover hits the rim. It can wake you up in the morning.

This cover used to be okay a couple of years ago before they repaved the street, which has raised the asphalt level. The third obvious problem: even the new asphalt has quickly developed a crack around the manhole, which could be a sign of a maintenance problem.

I was wondering if there is still something I could do to fix this manhole cover (and another one half a block up the street, too)? Would appreciate any comment. Thanks, h.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:20 PM
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You could keep trying but the people who have the authority to do something about it have already blown you off.
Old 05-14-19, 05:36 PM
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You could write a large check. But seriously, contacting the city for a manhole cover that sits 3/16" low and is 7/16" below the pavement level will earn you a good deal of eye rolling. Contacting them repeatedly probably does nothing but earn you a reputation.
Old 05-15-19, 12:40 AM
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After all that I'd be out there with the mig welder to fix!
Old 05-15-19, 01:02 AM
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Welding city property sounds like a good way to become a guest of the city in their local grey bar hotel.
Old 05-15-19, 02:11 AM
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I would think the only possible way to fight this with city hall would be to have a video/audio recording.
I agree anything you do to the manhole cover would leave you open to criminal or civil action.
Old 05-15-19, 05:30 AM
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Debris under the edges of the lid may be causing the cover to not set level. Cleaning the edges of the cover and the groove in the base where the cover rests may help. The cover looks too small for the base, which allows shifting. Wedges between the base and the cover may help prevent the cover from shifting.
Old 05-16-19, 05:06 PM
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Thank you all for the replies! Just wanted to point out that this manhole cover used to be very quiet a year ago meaning it doesn't have to be like this, and that all the measurements in the photos are just to show where the annoying sound may come from.

Yes, there was some eye rolling done by both parties when they came out here to test the cover. They rolled their eyes on me because the cover hasn't made a single sound under the passing cars. I rolled my eyes because their own parked maintenance truck made all the passing cars slow down and move closer to the center of the street -- so no contact with the cover was ever made while they were watching. It was a waste of everybody's time.
Old 05-16-19, 05:34 PM
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Your arguments won't get you anywhere. You need to hit them with the safety card and possible injury due to a faulty equipment which they have been cited (liability). If a car at the right speed could possibly flip the cover off. A bicyclist hitting the depressed holes and having an accident (possibly involving another vehicle). Tripping hazard for a pedestrian crossing the street. After hours disturbance of the peace. Recordings and video are needed.

I had a similar situation with the town concerning my driveway apron after road work was done. They disregarded my complaints until I proved to them a safety hazard with scraping gas tanks. (wrote bout this several years ago on this forum). I put them on notice, in writing and made them aware of any and all liability for property and body injury they would be totally responsible. They offered to fix my driveway apron at no cost.
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