TAMPA - Westbound 138th Avenue is currently closed after a hole opened up in the road near the USF area.
The hole is not being identified as a sinkhole, but rather a cave- in that happened on 138 th Avenue east of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard late Wednesday afternoon.
Department crews responded to the cave-in over a 36-inch gravity sewer pipe.
A woman driving 2010 Nissan Versa was on top of the pavement as the hole began to open. The driver accelerated off the road, but suffered damage to her tires from the broken pavement. She didn't suffer any injuries.
Preliminary information indicates that the opening was caused by internal corrosion of the pipeline, due to hydrogen sulfide gas.
Over time, the gas interacts with bacteria on the walls of the pipe, which turn into sulfuric acid, corroding the pipe metal.
The Wastewater Department has a pickup truck blocking the hole so no one runs over it.
Drivers are advised to follow the local marked detours currently in place. Officials are investigating the cause of the cave-in and determining a repair strategy.
There are no interruptions in sewer service for residents in the area. This section of 138th Avenue will remain closed until further notice and the City advises drivers to use alternate routes until this repair has been completed.
Department engineering staff members are meeting with a contractor today to finalize a repair strategy and a timeline for the repairs.