Sinkhole appears in East Waco road, poses road challenges

A sinkhole formed last night on Herring Ave near Dan Rowe St. appeared today. City estimates it is 17 feet deep and the roadway will be closed for awhile.

A 17-foot-deep sinkhole appeared on Herring Avenue in East Waco on Monday morning, closing the road between JJ Flewellen Road and Dan Rowe Street.

The cause of the sinkhole is unknown as crews will have to wait for the area to dry out before repairing it. Larry Holze, director of municipal information, said the sinkhole will take four to six weeks to repair.

There is speculation that the sinkhole was caused by a 24-inch sewer line collapsing, but the ground is too wet to fully assess the area. The line is a feeder line that connects from Martin Luther Kind Boulevard. to the water treatment plant. Holze said the rain could be a cause, as well as river seepages because of the proximity of the line to the Brazos River. The line is in a low water area.

“The cause is unknown right now and something they will determine. Obviously we’ve had problems in that area before,” Holze said.

The sinkhole also posed challenges to road navigation.

“All westbound traffic for E. Herring is being diverted until repairs can be made,” wrote Waco Police Department Sgt. Patrick Swanton in an email to the Lariat. “Alternate routes are advised to avoid congestion this may cause.”

Holze said only westbound traffic is cut off on Herring and eastbound traffic is still able to get through the road because of a grassy median between eastbound and westbound lanes.

There was no threat to homes or any other areas, and drinking water was not affected either because the line in the sinkhole is a sewer line, Holze said. There was no discharge of sewer water into public areas, Holze said.

In July, a sinkhole appeared near Martin Luther King Boulevard and Herring Avenue. As a result, city officials warned residents about water pressure fluctuations due to the sinkhole.