Large sinkhole opens up in St. Paul, closing busy road for days


We complain about the severity of potholes on the road, but a recent hole in St. Paul shows it could be worse.

A giant sinkhole opened up along a major traffic artery Friday, forcing motorists to find a different route for a few days while crews work to fix it, the Pioneer Press reports.

The 25-foot-deep, 25-foot-wide crater opened up around 2 a.m. that morning, at Johnson Parkway and Phalen Boulevard – which the paper notes is the only north-south connector from Earl Street to White Bear Avenue, and is a "major gateway" to Maryland Avenue.

According to KSTP, the Metropolitan Council Environmental Services operates the pipe. The agency noted on Twitter nobody was injured, no households were affacted, and the sewer is being monitored.

A Metropolitan Council spokesperson tells the Star Tribune while the cause of the break isn't known with certainty at this point, it appears the top of the pipe had corroded, and simply collapsed from the weight of the ground above it. The spokesperson calls breaks like the one Friday rare.

The Pioneer Press says the line was installed in 1989 and carries 12 million gallons of sewage daily, stretching from the treatment plan tin St. Paul all the way north to Forest Lake.

While the large sinkhole is in the state's capital of St. Paul, the city has nothing on Fountain, Minnesota – the town in Filmore County that bills itself as the sinkhole capital of the U.S.

WCCO says there are more than 10,000 sinkholes of various sizes around the southeastern Minnesota county. There are very sizable sinkholes located between Fountain and Harmony, according to the Root River Guide. There’s even an observation deck next to one of the largest sinkholes, which is located along the Root River Trail in Fountain.

Over in Russia, someone captured video of a sinkhole as it opened up on a busy highway – narrowly avoiding disaster as cars tried to move out of its way.


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