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COURTESY PHOTO: PBOT - Portland crews had to dig through cobblestones and cut old streetcar tracks to repair a sinkhole that opened April 20 in a section of Southeast Milwaukie Avenue.Traffic on Southeast Milwaukie Avenue near Reedway Street reopened Wednesday afternoon, hours after the busy street was closed by a 2-foot-wide sinkhole.


Portland Bureau of Transportation crews spent the day excavating the sinkhole and repairing damaged sewer lines. The street was expected to reopen at about 4 p.m. April 20.

Bureau officials said the northbound lane remains closed at Southeast Ramona Street. It should be reopened by the evening, according to the bureau.

The northbound lane will be closed again Thursday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., to restore underground utilities and look for more underground cavities. Southeast Milwaukie Avenue could be closed again Friday, April 22, or next week for repaving.

According to the bureau, a 2-foot-wide sinkhole, believed to be between 4 and 6 feet deep, opened at about 8 a.m. April 20. Repairs required digging through cobblestones and asphalt, and cutting through old streetcar tracks. When crews began excavation, they discovered an underground cavity about 6 feet deep, 12 feet wide and 17 feet long.

The city is still looking for the cause of the sinkhole.