Feb 12, 2019

Sinkhole Stops Traffic in Portland, Ore.

A large sinkhole was reported in downtown Portland, Ore., stopping traffic

A large sinkhole was reported in downtown Portland, Ore., stopping traffic
A large sinkhole was reported in downtown Portland, Ore., stopping traffic.

In downtown Portland, Ore., a six-ft-deep chasm was reported Feb. 8 on Salmon Street. According to the Portland Tribune, it is a literal sinkhole. Officials say the void will continue to shutter one lane of traffic between 5th and 6th avenues.

According to the Portland Tribune, Water Bureau crews discovered the sinkhole on Feb. 8 while responding to a leak in a fire-prevention pipe for Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse. This lead workers to discover a damaged sewer pipe and the sinkhole.

"In the course of cutting through the asphalt, they discovered what was underneath," said Diane Dulken, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Environmental Services, who is coordinating the reconstruction efforts.

Dulken said that when they discover it is usually because they’re doing repair work and in the course of disturbing the asphalt they may discover a hole where there should be ground.

The is not disrupting bus routes in this case. According to the Portland Tribune, the barricades surrounding the six-ft-deep pit left only one lane open for vehicle and bicycle traffic.

The total dimensions of the hole are about 10 yards square, according to Dulken.

Both pipes are now in working order, and the absence has been filled with dirt and rocks, according to the Portland Tribune. However, the job won't be finished until crews repave the road.

"Crews coordinated across bureaus to respond quickly to get repairs done through the weekend, both night and day," Dulken said to the Portland Tribune. "It's pretty straightforward."

The cause of the sinkhole remains under investigation.

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