St. Paul sinkhole uncovers host of sewer issues; fix still months off


St. Paul officials could soon open a couple of lanes on Phalen Boulevard and Johnson Parkway, more than a month after a giant sinkhole opened up along the traffic artery, KSTP reports.

The major roadway has been closed since the ground suddenly gave way on May 9. But in the meantime, the Met Council tells KSTP it hopes to have one lane open in each direction on both streets by the end of next week.

The station says the damage – which goes beyond the expected scope – will likely take a full two or three months to fully fix, plus another $3-5 million from the Metropolitan Council's budget.

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What is that damage? Long stretches of corroding and crumbling sewer pipe, that carries an estimated 12 million of sewage every day, stretching from the treatment plan tin St. Paul all the way north to Forest Lake.

When the Met Council first inspected the cause of the sinkhole, it found damage to the top of the 30-foot-long stretch of pipe. Further inspection, the council explained back in May, uncovered a lot more – about 2,000 feet of sewer pipe with "varying degrees of concrete corrosion." About 200 feet will have to be replaced.

Temporary waste water piping has been laid out above ground.

After the Met Council first announced the extensive damage, the Pioneer Press put together a piece detailing the traffic problems, and their impact on the community. Small businesses in Hmong Village have felt much of that damage, the paper says.

Here's a photo of the sinkhole (reported to be about 25 feet wide and 25 feet deep) from a Twitter user.

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