10-foot deep sinkhole closes part of Cesar Chavez



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Posted on June 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 14 at 6:12 PM

AUSTIN -- A sinkhole closed part of a major road downtown for most of Friday.

Police say the sinkhole was 15 feet by 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep, but from the surface, it was only about 18 by 14 inches. 

The sinkhole appeared on Cesar Chavez between the frontage road of Interstate 35 and Red River Friday morning. A bicyclist noticed it and called police.

Austin police urged drivers to avoid the high traffic area which is near the Convention Center, Rainey Street and the interstate.

"When the road goes, whatever's on top of it will go with it," Cpl. David Boyd with APD said.

The City is working to find out what caused the asphalt to cave in and cause the hole, but even after shining flashlights in the hole and trying to get a closer look they're still not sure.

"Sometimes sinkholes are just a naturally occurring phenomenon," said Carolyn Perez with Public Works.

Crews filled the hole with a quick-dry base so it can be stabilized. Once filled and covered, the City says traffic can resume in the area.

City officials add that no utilities underground or nearby construction projects were affected.

Authorities tell KVUE that all lanes of Cesar Chavez are back open.