VDOT officials blame leaking sewer pipe for hole

The hole on U.S. 11 that reduced traffic to a single lane near Comer Street in Edinburg for much of Tuesday was caused by a leaking sewer line, VDOT officials said Wednesday.

Officials initially classified the trouble spot as a sinkhole. Sandy Myers, a spokeswoman for VDOT, said road crews digging into the soil beneath the broken pavement discovered the defective sewer line.

Myers said geologists concluded that the pipe had been leaking for “quite some time.”

The U.S. Geological Survey defines sinkholes as cavities that form below ground as a result of natural groundwater circulating among rocks such as limestone, carbonate rock and salt beds.

“In the geological sense, this was not a sinkhole,” Myers said. “It was caused by a leaking sewer line.

The hole in downtown Edinburg closed traffic in the southbound lane of U.S. 11 from late in the morning until about 10 p.m. when work crews completed their repairs, Myers said. Traffic from both directions was funneled into the northbound lane during the repairs.

Road crews worked into the night excavating the hole with a back hoe. A septic tank truck pumped effluent out the sewer line before the installation of a new segment of pipe about 5 feet below the street.

Traffic was flowing smoothly on Wednesday morning.

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