Sinkhole closes lane in Edinburg

This sinkhole that appeared on U.S. 11 near Comer Street in Edinburg has prompted closure of one lane of traffic. Rich Cooley/Daily

EDINBURG – A sinkhole closed the southbound lane of U.S. 11 near Comer Street in Edinburg around noon on Tuesday.

Northbound and southbound traffic funneled into the northbound lane throughout the day as flaggers directed traffic at both ends of the work zone.

Emergency contractors arrived at the scene around noon. Sandy Myers, a spokeswoman for VDOT, said motorists should expect significant delays.

Mayor Dan Harshman said he expected both lanes to be open by Wednesday morning, although the road may be partially closed at a later date to allow for repaving.

Harshman said a town resident discovered the sinkhole early in the morning and notified a town employee, who called VDOT. Harshman said the hole was about the same diameter as a bowling ball when he checked the site.

Brit Robertson, a laborer for Commonwealth Excavating, Inc. of Verona, digs inside this sinkhole Tuesday afternoon after an excavator ruptured a sewer line while crews were working to repair a sinkhole along Main Street in Edinburg. Rich Cooley/Daily

Geologists from VDOT arrived at the scene later in the morning.

“Apparently, they examined the area and determined it was a sinkhole,” Myers said of the geologists.

No vehicles were damaged or persons injured, Myers said.

A work crew had excavated the hole to a depth of about five feet and was repairing a damaged sewer line by late afternoon.

Sinkhole repairs typically involve a contractor excavating a sinkhole, evaluating it and back filling the space. The road will be reopened after the hole is repaired and the road is repaved, Myers said.

Harshman said he was unsure whether the sewer line was damaged by the work crew or by normal aging. He was also unsure whether leakage from the line may have contributed to the formation of the sinkhole.

“We didn’t even know the sewer line was there,” Harshman said. “Regrettably, there’s a lot of things in small towns that you discover when you dig a hole.”

Updated traffic information can be obtained by dialing 511 or visiting VDOT’s 511 Virginia.org website.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com