UPDATE: Portion of Norfolk street remains closed due to sinkhole

Posted at 9:12 PM, May 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-20 18:29:11-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - Norfolk Public Utilities crews are trying to figure out what caused a sinkhole to open up late Monday afternoon in the Ghent neighborhood.

Crews were back on scene Tuesday at the sinkhole on Botetourt Street, which is closed between Pembroke and Fairfax Avenues as a result.

Scene photo, Todd Corillo

Scene photo, courtesy Todd Corillo

Harry Kenyon, a spokesman for Norfolk Public Utilities, says crews are trying to figure out what caused the sinkhole.

"We won’t know until we excavate the pipe. Obviously we have a break in the pipe somewhere because we are seeing waste water come up out of that pipe," he told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

Before crews could begin any excavation work, their primary focus Tuesday was on pumping out the sewer line.

"No one is out of service, there’s been no overflows, so we are just excavating the pipe, collecting our water and taking it somewhere else to make sure it is taken care of," Kenyon commented.

This is the second sinkhole crews have dealt with in the month of May.

On May 2, a sinkhole opened up on Colley Avenue near Southampton Avenue.

Sinkhole on Colley Avenue causes traffic delays

"It was a similar situation. It was a sanitary sewer main, it had a crack in it," Kenyon explained. "When you have a crack in the pipe, the soil will seep into the pipe and cause the earth above it to give way and create a sinkhole."

Norfolk is currently working to replace the sanitary sewer system in the section of Ghent where the sinkhole opened up Monday afternoon.

"The City of Norfolk has a lot of old infrastructure. We are in the process of rebuilding a lot of that. We’ve got a multi-phased project we’ve been doing through part of The Hague, replacing old sewer system, putting in new sewer system," Kenyon commented.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 for updates as they become available.