Sinkhole shuts down East Liverpool highway ramp - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Sinkhole shuts down East Liverpool highway ramp

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EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio -

Another sinkhole has popped up in the Valley closing traffic on a busy roadway.

It's a huge sinkhole found in a very unlikely place. East Liverpool road crews found a 10 foot wide sinkhole forming on the Second Street ramp onto State Route30/39.

It doesn't look all that big from afar but under the asphalt the hole grows much wider and drops down over 30 feet.

The ramp was immediately closed to traffic.

“We suspect the storm drain collapsed that runs under the highway about 40 feet down which has been washing dirt away underneath that ramp probably for a number of years now,” said Ryan Estell, East Liverpool safety director.

Safety officials say it could have been a disastrous situation because during the Fourth of July weekend, there were cars lined up and down the berm to watch fireworks across the river.

So why do these sinkholes keep popping up this year? “It's likely due to the bad winter along with the extra amount of rain we've received throughout the last year. So there's a lot more happening with the pipes underground. The ground is saturated more than it normally is,” Estell said.

The city is responsible for fixing the ramp, but the safety service director says ODOT's help will be needed because of the size of the problem. So it's not yet known how long it will take to reopen the ramp.

A similar sinkhole found on Route 11 near East Liverpool a few years ago took a couple of months to get repaired.

Safety officials are asking curious people to avoid walking to the sinkhole area because of the danger of further collapse.


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