Sinkhole jams downtown commute

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SAN DIEGO — A ruptured water pipe created a large sinkhole blocking a main route into downtown during the Wednesday morning commute.

Sinkhole at F StreetPolice diverted traffic coming onto F Street  from state Route 94  after a sinkhole the size of a large truck formed on the street between 14th and 15th streets at about 3:30 a.m.  The pavement buckled and washed away after a 16-inch cast iron water pipe  burst underground, city water department officials said. The broken pipe was about 110 years old, they added.

The break was likely caused by corrosion to the old water main, but ruptures often occur during very cold or hot weather when brittle pipes expand or contract, Collins said.

About five customers in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of F Street lost water service, San Diego Public Utilities Department spokesman Arian Collins said.

Collins estimated repair work would continue until 8 or 9 p.m. Crews planned to excavate the area, cut out the old pipe and replace it, he said.