A gaping sinkhole emerged at an intersection on Detroit’s east side after a worn-down water main broke open late Monday morning, according to the city’s Water and Sewage department.
The roughly circular chasm, which emerged before noon at Chene and Medbury, right by Dan & Vi’s pizza, appeared to measure at least 15 feet in diameter and 10 feet deep. Huge blocks of concrete had crumbled apart and plunged beneath street level.
Within 45 minutes of hearing about the hole, about a dozen crew members swarmed the intersection with construction vehicles and began repairs, said Curtrise Garner, a spokesperson with the Detroit Water and Sewage Department.
She said the hole was caused by two factors: the leaking water from the ruptured water main, which can happen from age and changes in weather, and also the damaged sewer in that area.
Despite the hole’s size, the impact on the surrounding area was relatively minimal. The actual hole emerged next to vacant corners with overgrown grass, as well as an abandoned gas station. Only part of the road was closed off as repairs will continue for the next few days, Garner said.
The hole startled some locals. Bruce Davis, who was working in the area as a janitor, said he passed by Chene and Medbury earlier on Monday and was shocked to find the hole when he came by a second time on the way to lunch.
“I thought maybe the world was getting ready to end,” Davis joked.
He said he was just glad no cars were parked along the street — on Monday, the pizza restaurant happened to be closed.