'Large cave-in' forces intersection closure in Center City

Justin Udo
January 21, 2019 - 5:07 pm
Crews are on the scene after a sinkhole forms in Center City.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A sink hole in center city leaves crews investigating just what happened, and motorists looking to find a different route in a highly trafficked area. 

It might only be around 2 1/2 to three feet in circumference, but the street cave-in at the intersection of 20th and Chestnut streets is big enough to shutdown the surrounding blocks and divert traffic in the area.

"Out of precaution for safety for the motorist and pedestrians, we've come out, we've barricaded around it," said John DiGiulio with the Philadelphia Water Department. 

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DiGiulio says the sink hole opened up Monday afternoon shortly before rush hour.

"Crews came out and investigated and found that there's a defect in our sewer, which likely caused the street to collapse in the location that it did," he explained. 

DiGiulio says they'll spend Tuesday working on the cave-in as they try to get things back to normal.

"We'll have crews out here doing additional assessments, and we have utilities out here marking location of their utilities so that we know where we can dig safely to excavate and find exactly what we're dealing with when we get out here," he said. 

DiGiulio says motorists should try to avoid the area.

There is no estimated time of when repairs on the cave-in will be done.

SEPTA told KYW Newsradio that only bus route 17 has been impacted by the cave-in. You can check the SEPTA website for detour information here.

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KYW Newsradio's Kevin Wright contributed to this report.