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September 25, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Busy road caves in due to busted pipe

A ROAD caved in at a busy intersection in the Pudong New Area early yesterday morning, and a preliminary investigation ruled that leaking water from a broken sewage pipe eroded the soil and caused the 2-meter-deep hole.

Before the cave-in, the road maintenance department had found the road had sunken by more than 10 centimeters at the intersection of Jinke and Haike roads on Thursday. But it didn't collapse until early yesterday morning.

Maintenance workers found the hole, about 5 meters long and 5 meters wide, during a daily patrol at 5am. The soil under the pavement has been hollowed out and the asphalt was cracked and broken into several pieces.

No car or pedestrian fell into the pit since authorities had already encircled the spot with warning signs last week. But some drivers and passers-by said it was scary.

"It would be a disaster if the road collapsed in rush hour and vehicles fell into it," said Vikki Wang, who is a white-collar worker at a nearby company.

Her company's shuttle buses detoured to avoid the intersection when they got off work yesterday afternoon.

"I'm now worried about whether there will be more holes when buses are going by," she said.

Many heavy trucks use the road and authorities said they had found wheel tracks suggesting an extra-heavy truck had turned around in the sunken area before it collapsed.

Officials launched repair work yesterday afternoon. Northbound traffic on Jinke Road was affected as three northbound lanes became one at the intersection. The repair work is expected to last for more than 10 days, officials said.

"We need to first dig up the area to verify our speculation and find out the extent of the affected area before we come up with the repair plan," said a road maintenance department official who declined to be named.

A storm drainage pipe and a sewage pipe converge in the area and broken sections were detected in the sewage pipe. The road maintenance department will work with the city's utility departments to find out whether gas pipes or electrical or communications cables are buried underneath.

"After fixing the broken pipes, we need to pour concrete into the hole and pave the road with asphalt," the official said.

After the road is paved, it will take 10 days for observation before warning signs are removed, he said.

It's at least the second case of its type in Pudong this year.

A crack up to 10 meters long on a main road in Lujiazui sparked safety concerns in an area of skyscrapers in February.


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