Vancouver Public Works crews respond quickly to sinkhole resulting from water main leak

January 22, 2024

A sinkhole that developed over the weekend at the intersection of Washington Street and West 30th Street has been filled with compacted gravel, making the area safe for travelers. This temporary street repair will be in place until paving to repair the street surface fully can be completed this spring with more favorable weather conditions.

City of Vancouver Public Works crews responded to a water main leak at the intersection of Washington Street and West 30th Street during the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 20. An eight-inch water main line broke and washed material away supporting the street, causing the existing asphalt to fail. This created a sinkhole in the street about four- feet deep, 12 feet long and 10 feet wide. A four-door SUV fell into the hole, submerging the front half of the vehicle.

The occupants were able to get out of the vehicle safely. Personnel from Vancouver Fire, Vancouver Police and Public Works departments arrived quickly to attend to the vehicle occupants and close the intersection to traffic. Water service was also shut off to nearby properties as crews worked to repair the leak. By around 9 a.m. on Saturday, crews had repaired the water main and restored water service to surrounding customers.

 “Our crews responded quickly to ensure community safety. Working through the early hours on Saturday morning, they restored water service for residents and made repairs to the sinkhole for local drivers,” said Vancouver Public Works Director Steve Worley.

Drivers are cautioned to avoid traveling through large puddles and high or moving water. Sinkholes are possible, but not common. Most water main lines are eight inches or larger and, if broken, release a high volume of water with the potential of displacing material and causing roadway surfaces to fail, thus creating a sinkhole. If motorists encounter potential road hazards, water leaks or other urgent issues, please report directly to the City of Vancouver at 360-487-8177. To report a life-threatening emergency, call 911 immediately.


Media Contact: Nicole Walters, Strategic Communications Manager, Public Works, 360-852-1484, nicole.walters@cityofvancouver.us