Sinkhole on Broadway in Saranac Lake

A hole  the size of a sewer manhole caused the closure of Broadway in Saranac Lake from Olive Street to Woodruff for about an hour and a half Saturday Afternoon. It wasn’t your average bump in the road, however, because through this hole in the roadway, you could see open further into the ground and a telephone conduit, now open to the air after the weight of a vehicle finally overwhelmed the pavement which gave way and exposed the sinkhole below.

If’ you have ever walked on a board suspended above the ground, you know that feeling when the board begins to bend in the middle with the weight of your body. It’s similar to the feeling of being on a trampoline with one big exception; the trampoline probably won’t break while the board definitely has a breaking point. That’s what happened to the pavement. Turning left onto Broadway from Duprey Street, The blacktop was the only thing left in a 4 foot by 2 foot section of the roadway just outside of Pink. Rain from the past few weeks has been flushing out the underlayment and the sand from underneath the pavement leaving the pavement and open space underneath.

Saranac Lake’s DPW was on the scene shortly after 3pm and within the hour had repaired the damage to the roadway. This damage is adjacent to recent work by the DPW to repair a broken water line. In this case, no pipes were broken but the recent wet weather may have caused an underground flow of water to follow the outside of a telephone wire conduit where it began to erode the ground below where the pavement finally gave way.