Big sinkhole found on Oklahoma highway

June 3, 2010 at 12:38 PM
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TULSA, Okla., June 3 (UPI) -- A large sinkhole discovered on the shoulder of an Oklahoma highway caused a shutdown of a busy section of the road but no one was injured, authorities said.

Crews worked into the night Wednesday to repair the 5-foot-deep and approximately 12-foot-wide hole on Interstate 44 in Tulsa, the Tulsa World reported.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation crews, along with contractors who have been working near the interstate, found that the hole ran under the entire width of the road, said Randle White, the department's division engineer for the Tulsa County area.

"We started digging it out, and there were some voids under the pavement where some of the dirt or material washed away. The hole was full of water as well," White said.

White said a utility contractor boring under the highway at that location might have contributed to the cave-in.

Authorities were looking at the possibility that broken water pipes had drained beneath the waterway, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. George Brown.

Between 75,000 and 80,000 vehicles per day travel that stretch of highway.

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