Sinkhole Expands In Jeff City

1 decade 2 years 1 month ago Thursday, May 24 2007 May 24, 2007 Thursday, May 24, 2007 6:50:50 PM CDT May 24, 2007 in News
It's a sinkhole that first showed up on Tuesday, and the residents have watched it grow since then.

People in the neighborhood say the hole just came out of nowhere.

"A guy I know came by to see me and he said he hit a huge bump in the street, and then when we came back later there was a hole the size of a manhole," hotel employee Danny Hollaway said.

The sink hole happened on Miller St.--which runs parallel to Highway 50-63 and on top of a tunnel that channels creek water underneath. Officials say the pipes directly below the concrete surface are to blame for the hole--they've been there since 1913.

"The problem in the pipe happens to be in one area, and so if you think about it, it turns into a drain, but instead of draining water, it's draining dirt from underneath the street," street and parking director Britt Smith said.

The sinkhole is about 12 feet deep, and looking down into the sinkhole, a little water is visible on the ground floor.  Officials say when it flooded the water rose up to road level, softened the concrete, and caused the road to cave in. The sink hole blocks one of the entrances to Hotel Deville.

"We were kind of amazed, we didn't know what it was at first, and we actually found out from the newspaper when they called us. But it's not that big of an inconvenience, so we're not too worried about it," Hotel Deville manager Melissa Rusk said.

"The ultimate fix could be quite expensive and we haven't put a dollar amount to that yet."

Although the sink hole covers the width of one lane on Miller St., traffic should run as normal until it's fixed. Repair work could begin as early as tomorrow.

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