Route 202 in King of Prussia to be closed until at least Wednesday morning

Part of the highway had to be torn up so crews could fix a water main break caused by a sinkhole.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Work continues to repair water main break under Route 202 in King of Prussia
Work continues to repair water main break under Route 202 in King of Prussia

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Traffic troubles will continue in King of Prussia until at least Wednesday morning as work continues to repair a busy roadway following a water main break.

Officials with Upper Merion Twp. tell Action News that Route 202 (E. Dekalb Pike) will remain closed until at least the morning rush.

By then they hope to have one lane open in each direction. They hope to have two lanes in each direction open by noon Wednesday.

It all started on Monday when workers at the nearby Sam Ash store contacted Pennsylvania American Water about low water pressure.

"They realized there must have been a leak somewhere. When they finally got through the concrete on Dekalb that's where they saw the cavity and how much of it was missing," said PennDOT spokesperson Brad Rudolph.

Workers had to tear up the roadway so the water main could be fixed.

Water was shut off in the area, forcing nearby businesses to close. By Tuesday afternoon the pipe had been repaired, water was turned on and PennDOT was backfilling the sinkhole.

"We're going to put asphalt in, which is a temporary fix, so we can get traffic back open," Rudolph said. "And then we'll come back, take a lane here or there, take out the asphalt, and put the concrete back in."

Traffic is being detoured onto Saulin Boulevard and South Henderson Road.

Upper Merion Township leaders say they see about three sinkholes in King of Prussia each year because the southern side of the township was built on limestone.

This last drenching rain may be to blame for this situation.

"You might have an area where it's leaching into the ground, maybe even 20 yards away from where that sinkhole will form, but that leaching wears out the limestone underneath, causes the void and then you get the collapse on top, causing the sinkhole," said Upper Merion Twp. Public Works Superintendent Todd Lachenmayer.

In June, a sinkhole opened up about a mile away. Crooked Lane was closed in both directions for a week while PennDOT crews worked on repairs.

Both PennDOT and Upper Merion Township officials say there isn't a proactive approach to preventing these sinkholes. All they can do is respond once it happens.