UPDATE: Cause of Tyler sinkhole finally identified

The sinkhole is covered and the next step is finding out the cause

UPDATE: TYLER (KYTX) - We finally know what caused the sinkhole at the intersection of Front and Broadway in Tyler.

Texas Department of Transportation crews say recent rains damaged and eroded an old clay storm pipe under the street. They were able to find this out with a camera scope they put inside underground pipes Thursday.

They are now trying to decide whether to remove the pipe, or replace it. There is no word yet on when they could start fixing it, but when they do, traffic will be affected. 

TxDot crews have plugged the damaged storm drain so it cannot deteriorate any more. 


TYLER (KYTX) - When most of us think "sinkhole" we think of those huge ones in Florida that swallow cars and buildings -- that's not what this is.

We don't know exactly what caused this hole, but crews will soon look at some pipes underground to see what shift or leak made the pavement fall in.

What most of us saw at front and Broadway Tuesday evening -- was a whole lot of traffic. but what Larry Krantz with the Texas Department of Transportation saw was a sinkhole, about 5 feet wide and 3 and a half feet deep.

"Crews got in there, dug out a bunch of the debris that was there. We determined we weren't going to be able to fix what was there, so we put a temporary patch on it," says Larry Krantz.

If you drove over that intersection Wednesday - Krantz says don't worry, you weren't in any danger. The ground is no longer sinking.

"You continue to dig in these situations until the ground starts sluffing away, until you find hard ground on all sides and that's what we did."

Next up -- is finding out what caused the sinkhole.

"This is a drainage structure or some kind of a pipeline structure that's no longer in use, an old water line perhaps that simply sprung a leak at the top, allowed the material on top of it to fall into that pipe and be swept away by water."

To find out which structure is to blame, Tex dot is getting help from the city.

"Go in and camera the storm drains in that area and see if there's some activity there and we're getting with the utility departments as well seeing if they have utilities in that area that may be causing this."

City engineer Carter Delleney says once they determine a cause, they'll open the hole back up and fix it -- meaning there could be some lane closures on front and Broadway in the future.


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