City crews go underground to repair 15-feet-deep sinkhole in Crossroads District

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A sinkhole measuring 15 feet deep appeared out of nowhere Thursday evening in the Crossroads District, but city leaders said drivers should not have to worry about dodging any more of them.

The sinkhole was discovered around 7:30 p.m. Thursday on 20th Street near the Oak Street viaduct.

By early Friday afternoon, city crews went underground to find out what caused the sinkhole. They discovered a huge gash in a sewer line that was leaking water, which caused the soil to erode and the street above it to collapse.

Jennifer Kincaid of Kansas City Water Services said the break happened to some of the oldest sewer pipe in the city, but sinkholes of this size are extremely rare.

"Most of the holes are very, very minor," Kincaid said. "Something like this is really odd."

Kincaid said crews are constantly running remote control cameras through sewer lines to prevent cracks from turning into bigger problems.

"Our crews investigate - through television technology - about 85 or 90 miles of sewer line every single year," Kincaid said.

Downtown-area sewer lines are easily more than 100 years old, so Water Services is constantly busy. Fixing a broken sewer line starts around $10,000 but the city has $11.5 million budgeted for these problems this fiscal year.

Water Services laid new pipe under 20th Street Friday evening. The road should return to normal by Saturday.

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