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Home / Government / Sinkhole devours part of Milwaukee’s 27th Street (VIDEO)

Sinkhole devours part of Milwaukee’s 27th Street (VIDEO)

Elston Hortman (left) of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works watches as Greg Dahlberg, a machine operator for the city, removes broken sections of pavement Thursday from the sinkhole on 27th Street just north of Wisconsin Avenue. (Photo by John Krejci)

Elston Hortman (left) of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works watches as Greg Dahlberg, a machine operator for the city, removes broken sections of pavement Thursday from the sinkhole on 27th Street just north of Wisconsin Avenue. (Photo by John Krejci)

By Sean Ryan

A sinkhole on 27th Street in Milwaukee opened up and swallowed a We Energies truck Thursday morning.

“We were responding to a possible outage call in the downtown area,” said Barry McNulty, We Energies spokesman. “The truck was stopped at the signal behind a couple of other cars, and the rear wheel started sinking.”

McNulty said the bucket truck, which weighs about 17,000 pounds, fell deeper into the hole as the driver tried to move the truck, and We Energies crews eventually brought in two tow trucks to pull the utility truck from the sinkhole.

The incident occurred at 10:25 a.m., he said.

McNulty said no one was injured. A step used by workers to climb into the bucket of the truck was damaged, he said.

That segment of 27th Street is 30 feet south of an area where a 12-inch city water main recently broke and had to be repaired, according to a report from the Milwaukee Department of Public Works. Water escaping from the main could have washed away the fill underneath the street to create a void that could have led to the sinkhole, according to the report.

By 2:45 p.m., Milwaukee DPW crews had closed off that block of 27th Street and were using a crane to widen the approximately 8-foot-by-8-foot sinkhole. The hole was roughly 5 feet deep. The city crews will continue to break up the road surface to reveal all of the areas which may be unstable because there is no fill. The crews will then fill the hole with a concrete slurry and allow it to set overnight.

Cecilia Gilbert, Milwaukee Department of Public Works spokeswoman, said the road had a temporary asphalt surface installed after the water main fix. The department had scheduled a permanent repair for the road, Gilbert said, but she said she did not know when the permanent resurfacing was to take place.


We Energies crews stretch a cable across 27th Street and use a tow truck to free a bucket truck that got stuck in a sinkhole Thursday morning. (Photo courtesy of We Energies)

We Energies crews stretch a cable across 27th Street and use a tow truck to free a bucket truck that got stuck in a sinkhole Thursday morning. (Photo courtesy of We Energies)

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