Sinkhole Being Repaired:Gaping Hole at South Common and Shepard Closes Intersection

Lynn Water and Sewer Commission crews and utility workers have been working around the clock since last Friday, August 21, when a gaping 16-foot by 12-foot sinkhole opened at the intersection of South Common and Shepard streets at around 1 p.m.

The more than 10-foot deep hole brought traffic to a near standstill, as road crews and police had to close South Common street down to one lane of traffic so that crews could secure the site and begin addressing the situation.

As of Tuesday, the work to fix the hole was continuing with no official word from LWSC, as to when the hole would be repaired and the intersection re-opened.

Indeed, all crews could tell the public was that the hole appears to have been caused by a failed sewer line, that likely broke earlier this year and contributed to a worsening erosion problem under the street. By 1 p.m. on Friday, unbeknownst to the people above, the underlying foundation of the intersection had been completed eroded away, allowing the street fall into the hole below.

LWSC officials said the failed sewer line was a more than 100-year old clay pipe, which had probably failed at sometime earlier this year, or perhaps even before that. There was no estimate on a timetable for completing the repair and re-opening the street as of Tuesday evening and no estimate on how much the repair will cost rate payers and taxpayers in the city.

LWSC did say that Friday’s wet weather could have contributed to the collapse, as heavy rainfalls earlier in the morning may have helped to speed up the failure of the roadway above the broken sewer line.

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