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Collapsed sewer main causes sinkhole in Minneapolis

Officials said Monday the sinkhole was caused by a collapsed sewer main, adding that crews are planning to repair the sinkhole and intersection as soon as possible.

MINNEAPOLIS — Just when you thought potholes were the most daunting obstacle on the road, a sinkhole appears.

Crews were back on the scene Monday at the intersection of 27th Street West and Girard Avenue S. in Minneapolis' Uptown neighborhood. Officials said they were alerted of the sinkhole shortly after it happened around 3 p.m. Sunday. 

Credit: KARE

Crews immediately barricaded the area and began assessing the damage.

"The potholes have been terrible this year but talk about potholes, you could lose your whole car in that thing," said Henry Labounta of Minneapolis.

A city of Minneapolis spokesperson said Monday that the sinkhole was caused by a collapsed sewer main. City crews plan on starting their work Wednesday and having repairs and the road back open by April 21. 

Curtis Stallings, general foreman of sewer construction for the city of Minneapolis, said it's a 15-inch clay pipe located about 18 feet down. A couple factors could have caused the collapse, including the weather. 

"There are a lot of pipes in Minneapolis right now that are going through that freeze, thaw process. Now with the weather warming up, we got a lot of snow... so you get groundwater on top of that, as well, and that kind of tends to play an effect on our storm and sanitary system," Stallings said. 

The pipe dates back to 1903. Stallings said aging infrastructure is an issue across the city. Every year the city relines sewer pipes

"We have a construction group that goes out and fixes a lot of the pipes that have a higher criticality. So our goal is, go after those. A lot of times, especially I'm guessing this year, you're going to have a lot of potential for sinkholes or any other damage to pipe," Stallings said. 

Credit: Catherine Koewler

Sanitary services will not be disrupted to residents while crews work in the area. A very rough estimate on the cost of repairs is $25,000. The city said the cost is not assessed to the property owners. 

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