Portion of N. 2nd Street blocked off as workers fill Downtown sinkhole

Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 8:03 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2023 at 6:56 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A large sinkhole opened up in Downtown Memphis on Monday.

Memphis police have the west lane on North Second Street at Madison Avenue closed until further notice.

According to the City of Memphis Public Works, a sewer failure caused the large sinkhole to abruptly open Monday morning.

“Because if you ride over it, your car is guaranteed to go at least three or four inches in the air, and I hope you ain’t got no drink in the car,” said Gregory Hodges, a Memphis resident.

Sink hole S Second at and Madison Ave
Sink hole S Second at and Madison Ave(action news 5)

According to the City of Memphis Public Works, the sinkhole is about 10 feet wide and possibly more than 10 feet deep.

“They must’ve never been to Louisiana, because I mean, that pothole is not that very big at all,” said Chase Gillett, a visitor of Memphis.

Director of Public Works Robert Knecht said that on Saturday, officials were notified of an underground cavity that formed but weren’t aware of the cause.

Preliminary reports now show leakage in a sanitary sewer line may have contributed to this, Knecht said.

“We’re looking at doing what we call a ‘trenchless rehab.’ We are putting a liner in. There are a few challenges that we’re going to have to sort out first,” said Knecht. “But that’s what we are trying to work on is the rehab and repair of the sewer line, and then the backfilling and repair of the storm drain and the backfilling and stabilizing and then putting the road back.”

The city said there’s no timeline for how long this will take.

In the meantime, the Tennessee Department of Transportation is working with the city on a detour.

“Our first goal is safety, so the sidewalk will remain closed, and that part of the street will remain closed until we can make sure that it is safe for public,” said Knecht.

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