Rain, pipe failure create sinkhole in Northwest Side parking lot

City crews monitoring hole as they work toward fix

By Myra Arthur - Anchor/Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The city has its eye on a sinkhole that opened up in a business park near Loop 410 and Babcock Road. People who work nearby noticed the hole last week adjacent to a parking lot.

"It kind of looks like El Chapo's tunnel,” joked Michael Shackelford, spokesperson for the property owner.

Shackelford tied a Go Pro camera to a string and lowered it into the sinkhole to see what he could see.

“It looked like a cavern. It was really deep,” he said. “It was amazing that that much soil could just implode and there be that much space in there.”

Crews with the city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements department, or TCI, have placed barricades and caution tape around the hole advising people not to pass them.

The hole is an estimated 8 feet wide, 20 feet long and at least 15 feet deep.

Art Reinhardt, assistant director of TCI, says the hole was created by a corrugated metal drainage pipe that failed.

“They are prone to corrosion. So any little defect in the pipe- with the amount of rain we've gotten, it could have been magnified,” he said.

Because it’s a drainage pipe connected to a drain along the access road of Loop 410, water service is not affected.

Crews are monitoring the hole and working to make repairs.

“The immediate fix would be to go in and do a point repair and excavate that area that is currently failed, fix that and replace it with a new piece of pipe,” said Reinhardt. “And for that whole segment we're looking at using a spray liner to make sure the area has some structural integrity.”

Repairs should take about a month to complete once the work begins.

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