Large sinkhole in West Philly leads to major traffic detours

Justin Udo
June 12, 2019 - 6:57 pm
A massive sinkhole that popped up in West Philadelphia a little more than a week ago has grown into a major problem and is causing traffic trouble for folks in the neighborhood.

Justin Udo/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A massive sinkhole that popped up in West Philadelphia a little more than a week ago has grown into a major problem and is causing traffic trouble for folks in the neighborhood.

When the Philadelphia Water Department got the word of a sinkhole at 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue a little more than a week ago, it was not much to look at.

"We were notified about a depression in the street, and a hole about the size of a basketball," said the department's John DiGiulio.

DiGiulio says once they got on the scene and assessed the situation, they knew this sinkhole was going to be a lot bigger than what met the eye, and he was right.

"Upon our inspection, we found that there was a large void underground, about a 20-by-20 void had formed under the street. So we determined that the sewer was defective, which was likely what caused all the erosion underground and then therefore the void that was there," he explained. 

Jill Jacoby works at a restaurant just a few feet from the sinkhole.

"For like a week and a half, it's been pretty disruptive. It started as the size of a pizza, literally, now it's massive," Jacoby said. 

That sinkhole, which is now more than 10 feet deep and spreads throughout most of the intersection, is diverting traffic and mass transit.

"It's inconvenient, 'cause you know you catch the trolley right at the corner, now they have to turn," said Palma Marinas, who lives right down the street from the sinkhole. Marinas says despite the inconvenience it's actually brought a little more calm to her life.

"I hear all the noise traffic between people honking their horns and angry about traffic, but since the sinkhole it's been rather quiet," she said. 

Crews are hard at work getting the sinkhole fixed, says DiGiulio. He adds they hope to have things back to normal within the next two weeks.

DiGiulio suggests checking with SEPTA to see about detours and alternate routes.