PBOT: Sinkhole in SE Portland due to heat, sewer main break

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The hot weather played a factor in Wednesday night’s traffic in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood.

A sinkhole emerged at the intersection of Southeast Reedway Street and Southeast Milwaukie Avenue because of a sewer main break, according to Portland Bureau of Transportation officials. 

But officials also tell FOX 12 the sinkhole has something to do with the heat.

In the summer, they tend to see more sinkholes because asphalt is a flexible material. When it warms up, and if there happens to be a cavity underground, then part of the road can collapse, they say.

“That surprises me because I think of sinkholes as being water percolation, and the sewer there is about 12 feet down,” said neighbor Pat McCormick. “I wish it wasn’t quite so hot, so they could work when it’s cooler.” 

On Thursday morning, crews said they couldn't get to the sewer line to fix it because they discovered a large but abandoned gas line right next to it.

Crews said the gas line will be dealt with first before they repair the sewer line and fill in the hole.

Drivers in the area should expect some delays.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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