Massive sinkhole in Downtown Charleston caused by collapse of pre-Civil War underground archway

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CHARLESTON, S.C.( WCBD) – Repairs have begun on a massive sinkhole that swallowed part of the road near Coming and Bull Streets in Downtown Charleston.

The sinkhole was caused by the collapse of a Pre-Civil War archway under the street, which is not uncommon for the Holy City.

“We have a few of these every year… usually not so dramatic. It’s deeper here than we would usually see.” said Matt Fountain, Director of Storm Water Management for the City of Charleston.

Frank Newham, the senior project manager on the repair, explained that “the brick arch system is all through Downtown and The Peninsula area.” He said it was built in the 1840’s “so it subject to failure.”

The city of Charleston is working on a project to convert these liabilities into assets. They’ll do so by covering all of the pipelines in a 10 mile radius underneath state and city streets, which could cost up to $25 million.

“There are about roughly 10 miles of these arches under the city, a few under state roads, and some under city roads” said Fountain.

Officials say Coming and Bull Streets should be back to normal for travelers by the middle of next week.

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