Public Bus Stuck In Giant Sinkhole In Downtown Pittsburgh

Road repairs were underway Tuesday, one day after a Port Authority bus became stuck in a large sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh and was lifted out by two cranes.

The hole, estimated at 20 feet deep and 75 feet wide, will likely keep 10th Street closed for about eight weeks, according to a release from the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.

Penn Avenue reopened early Tuesday. Liberty Avenue is also open. Traffic continues to be impacted around the area.

Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said fiber-optic communication lines belonging to Verizon and Comcast are in the area of the sinkhole, and if those lines become damaged, it could create communications problems in the tri-state area.

“It appears there are no further problems with any utilities, so we’re basically worried about the Verizon and Comcast [lines], which we are assessing right now,” Hissrich said.

WATCH IT: See the bus lift in the video player below.

Once the fiber infrastructure is secured PWSA will assess damage to water, sewer and storm lines.

In addition to PWSA, there is below-ground infrastructure at the site by Duquesne Light, Verizon, Peoples Gas, and PAC Thermal.

The street cannot reopen until all utility repairs are completed. Once repairs are done, the sinkhole will be filled and new concrete will be poured. Sidewalks will also be restored.

The bus was waiting at a traffic light at 10th Street and Penn Avenue on Monday morning when the ground gave way, officials said.

Two people were on the bus when it fell into the sinkhole. Both were able to get off the bus safely.

Hissrich said the bus was sitting on three power lines — two are 22,000-volt lines and one is a low-voltage line. Power had to be shut off before the bus could be removed.

The bus was still driveable after being lifted out of the hole. Port Authority officials said the bus would be towed back to an authority garage to be inspected and repaired.

VIDEO: Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reporter Bob Mayo at the sinkhole scene

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VIDEO: Ground-level video of bus stuck in sinkhole.

 

VIDEO: Aerial video of the sinkhole while the bus was stuck.

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