Motorists traveling on Arizona Avenue where it curves into Walnut Avenue got a shock early Monday morning when they came across a huge sinkhole where the northbound lane had been in the roadway near 10th Street.
So instead of having Monday off for Christmas, city workers were scrambling to repair the damage.
What had been the northbound lane of the busy roadway in the area between a county retention basin on one side and McNeece Brothers Oil, 1060 S. Walnut Ave., on the other had become an enormous hole 60 feet long, 30 feet wide and 25 feet deep.
The sinkhole was reported by McNeece at 6:30 a.m. Monday, said Martha Guzman, city of Yuma spokeswoman. She noted that the sinkhole occurred in a section of the roadway that had been undermined by a break in a 16-inch water line.
While crews worked to repair the damage, Arizona Avenue/Walnut Avenue was closed to traffic between 12th and 10th streets. Both Yuma Police Department and Yuma County Sheriff’s Office were providing traffic control at the scene.
Guzman said city officials hoped to have the roadway patched and reopened to traffic by late Monday. Futher repairs will be made later this week.
The challenge was to find material to fill the big hole and round up staff to do the work as most city employees had been given Monday and Tuesday off for Christmas, she said.
The water line break was affecting only McNeece Oil, Guzman said.
“The damage as far as we can tell is to the pavement and shoulder,” Guzman said Monday morning. “Our priority is to get the water service restored and fill up the hole.”
She said the retention basin didn’t appear to be impacted, but it will be reassessed later this week.