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Sinkhole damage repaired, East Terry Street reopens in Pocatello


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A Pocatello Water Department backhoe tears up East Terry Street to determine the true size of the sinkhole that began forming there Wednesday afternoon. | Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO — City crews repaired and reopened a section of road near Idaho State University less than 24 hours after it had been heavily damaged by a sinkhole.

Traffic was again flowing on East Terry Street by late Thursday morning after part of the street had been shut down by Pocatello police around 4 p.m. Wednesday because of the sinkhole forming in the roadway.

On the surface of East Terry, the sinkhole initially appeared to be about 18 inches in diameter, but police said it was actually quite larger under the street’s surface.

This is where the sinkhole on East Terry Street in Pocatello began forming on Wednesday afternoon. | David Ashby, Idaho State Journal

City officials determined the sinkhole posed a danger to motorists and closed the portion of East Terry where it had formed between South 19th Avenue and University Drive near ISU.

City officials said a water main break two weeks ago apparently eroded the soil underneath East Terry, creating the sinkhole.

The Pocatello Water Department arrived on the scene about 6 p.m. Wednesday and used a backhoe to dig up the road to try to determine just how far the sinkhole spread underneath East Terry’s surface.

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the backhoe had revealed that the sinkhole was much larger than the original small hole on the surface of the street indicated. The backhoe had dug up a roughly 20 foot by 20 foot section of East Terry and the outer edges of the sinkhole had still not been reached.

The sinkhole did not result in any evacuations of the houses along East Terry, but several residents moved their vehicles away from the section of the street that was shut down.

City Water Department crews worked several hours to repair the damage caused by the sinkhole and reopened East Terry around 11 a.m. Thursday.

This article was originally published in the Idaho State Journal. It is used here with permission.