Hidden danger under Grand Forks pothole

Published: Aug. 22, 2017 at 6:41 PM CDT
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It started as a pothole but grew into a potentially dangerous hazard.

A busy Grand Forks city street was shut down today just blocks away from an elementary school just days before school starts.

When the signs went up.

"I've been driving over that thing for years," said Gary Bergman who lives near the closed road. "I got a light here that's a lot brighter than my flashlight."

The neighbors investigated why a pothole closed the road.

"Holy crap. And I can't see the other end of it, so I got to say it's got to be at least 15 feet wide too," Bergman said.

A hidden sinkhole.

"We just thought it was a pothole. I didn't know it was a big hole," Bergman said.

Which lead some on a minor detour.

"Today's open house, at four to six. So, we're going to do that," said Heather Kowalszik a parent of two headed to Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. "This is my main road. I always take this road home."

Today, Kowalszik and her two little ones walk the route they'd normally take to school. They saw what the problem is.

Crews broke up the road to reveal a 12 foot deep sinkhole.

A free show for onlookers. But, a few days of work to find and fix pipe that broke that caused the ground to wash away.

13 avenue south is one of the main drags that run east to west in Grand Forks, it's also one of the quickest roads to the hospital.

Fortunately, city officials say they should have the hole filled in and street back open by this weekend -- just in time for the first day of school.