Investigation continues into what caused massive sinkhole in West Philadelphia

Neighbors say the sinkhole opened up about a year or so ago and it had been fixed recently.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Massive sinkhole opens up in West Philadelphia
Neighbors told Action News it is not the first time there's been a problem there.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A massive sinkhole opened up in West Philadelphia on Wednesday morning.

It happened at the intersection of 57th and Media streets.

Neighbors told Action News it is not the first time there's been a problem there.

It appears that an old sewer line may have collapsed, but it is unclear if that is due to the road collapse or the cause of it, according to an initial investigation.

Philadelphia Water Department crews sprayed green dye into the hole Wednesday afternoon, trying to determine a possible cause and if there's a breach in the sewer line.

"How old is that sewer line?" asked Action News' Chad Pradelli.

"It is about from the 1900s, a brick sewer line," said Philadelphia Water Department Spokesmen Brian Rademaekers.

PWD said it did do some work here to a water main in June and the Streets Department ultimately did the road repair.

Both departments said there were no underlying issues at that time.

"We want to make sure every utility that may have been impacted has been notified," said Donald Carlton with the Philadelphia Managing Director's Office.

Nearby residents watched as the cleanup and repairs began. Some were frustrated. Others are thankful no one was seriously hurt.

"Glad no one got hurt," said Gregory Mosley. "No one drove by and wound up going in."

So far there are no reports of utility disruptions, but that could change.

A timeline for repairs will be determined once they can excavate this site a bit more.