Crews work to fill huge sinkhole

SAN DIEGO — Crews in the Point Loma area were working Monday to fill a giant sinkhole and restore water service to residents left without it after a metal water pipe ruptured under Nimitz Boulevard, according to a city official.

The street has been closed since Sunday, when the break was reported at about 5 a.m. near the intersection of Nimitz Boulevard and Shafter Street, between Rosecrans Boulevard and North Harbor Drive, according to Arian Collins, spokesman for the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. The pipe likely broke because of “corrosion to an old cast iron water main,” Collins said.

Some Point Loma-area accounts in the 2600 through 2900 blocks of Nimitz Boulevard were without water service following the rupture, Collins said. Crews initially expected to have water service restored Sunday night, but some customers remained without service overnight.

“We replaced the water main and had it recharged so it was back in water as of about 10:30 last night,” Collins said. “What we didn’t know was there was a hydraulics problem that was not allowing enough water pressure to reach customers.”

The hydraulics crew expected to have service fully restored around noon, Collins said.

A sinkhole about 20 feet in diameter developed on Nimitz Boulevard following the break and prompted officials to close the road in both directions, Collins said.

The water and water pressure “undermined the street and just washed away a lot of the soil, and so the asphalt collapsed in,” Collins said.