Broken water main opens sinkhole in Atlanta road - CBS46 News

Broken water main opens sinkhole in Atlanta road

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Crews in Atlanta fixed a broken water main that caused a large sinkhole to open up beneath a busy road Monday.

Scheree Rawles, spokeswoman for Atlanta's Watershed Dept., said workers arrived on the scene at Collier Drive in northwest Atlanta at about 4 a.m. Monday to turn off the water.

"We had to find the break. We had to dig it out," said Rawles.

By the time they arrived, water flowing from the broken pipe beneath the road had caused a sinkhole about 5 feet wide to open. The road near Interstates 20 and 285 also had visible buckling in several areas.

"What happens is with the cold and the hot last week it was pretty chilly, yesterday it was in the 50s," said Rawles. "What happens is the pipes expand and contract. When that happens, that can shift the pipe or put a crack in the pipe. That typically happens when you go from cold to hot."

About 40 homes in the surrounding area were without water about six hours Monday. By 3 p.m. the pipe was fixed and the water was back on.

Gilbert Evans, 97, was the first homeowner on Collier Dr. Evans said going a few hours without water wasn't a big deal.

"I've survived this long a few hours won't hurt," said Evans. "I just couldn't take a bath."

The water is back on but Collier Dr. remains closed.

"The street probably will not be open until Monday. We will have to try to determine if the street has been undermined," said Rawles. "If that has happened, we will pull up all the asphalt within the next block and a half radius."

Rawles said residents should be patient and drive carefully near work crews.

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