Large sinkholes could be more the norm as Minneapolis pipes age

Lots of snow, freezing and thawing, along with aging pipes could mean more troubles ahead


David Joles, Star Tribune file

On April 10, utility workers surrounded a sinkhole roughly 10 feet deep and 5 feet wide that opened up in the middle of the intersection of W. 27th Street and Girard Avenue S. in Uptown Minneapolis.

As Jeff Berg bicycled past a small hole - 6 inches wide but much deeper below the surface - at a south Minneapolis intersection near his house Monday, he worried that more of the street could collapse when a car passes near it.

"You think, 'How big could this get?' " Berg said, near the sinkhole at 43rd Street W. and Pleasant Avenue S. "Is it going to open up and all of a sudden take up the whole intersection when someone drives by?"

Minneapolis has had a handful of major sinkholes so far in 2023 following the third-snowiest winter on record. Most notable is a large crater at the intersection of 27th Street and Girard Avenue S. that has shut down the road since its collapse April 9. Another small sinkhole opened at the intersection of 40th Street and Nicollet Avenue, which has since been filled with soil and surrounded with caution tape.


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