SAWS getting closer to investigating sinkhole infrastructure

Crews working nonstop in hopes of reopening Quintana Road soon

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Water System Board of Trustees on Wednesday got an update on a massive sinkhole that that swallowed two cars and claimed the life or an off-duty Bexar County sheriff's deputy.

Deputy Dora Linda (Solis) Nishihara was on her way to a security job the night of Dec. 4, when the portion of the road collapsed beneath her car.

"The conditions in the hole have been eroded by the collapsed pipeline infrastructure that has been disturbed by the continued turbulent flow of water within the open hole," SAWS Senior Vice President Steve Clouse said.

Clouse said construction on the line started in 2013.

The first phase of the project was completed about a year ago, but construction on the second phase hasn't started.

The road gave out where the first and the second phase of the project intersected.

Clouse said crews have been working around the clock since Dec. 5, assembling pumps and temporary above-ground pipelines so they can work on installing permanent pipes and reopen Quintana Road.

"We are just at the point where we have the soil erosion under control," said Clouse. "We have stabilized the wastewater flow through some temporary conduits immediately after the vehicles were extracted. SAWS established an emergency plan for constructing a temporary bypass pumping operation."

Clouse said the bypass pumping operation should be in place later this week, and once that happens crews will enter the sinkhole and investigate the infrastructure.

After that, crews will expedite the construction that had already been planned for the area on Quintana Road.

On Tuesday, another sinkhole was discovered on Buena Vista Road on the city's West Side. The road was reopened Wednesday.

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