Crews make unexpected discovery during investigation into what caused downtown sinkhole

PITTSBURGH — Crews have made an unexpected discovery in the investigation into what caused a massive sinkhole on 10th Street downtown less than two weeks ago.

>>RELATED: Pittsburgh street could be closed for months after bus is swallowed by sinkhole

PWSA officials confirm a damaged 6-inch water line underneath the road was not connected to a nearby building, as its records indicated.

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It’s unclear how long the line has been disconnected, but a PWSA spokesman says it could have been decades.

"We really just don't know when it happened. Although we're fairly certain it wasn't a recent occurrence," said PWSA communications director Will Pickering.

Since the line was improperly capped near the building and not closer to the water main as expected, Pickering said any potential damage likely would have gone undetected.


How and when that happened is being investigated, and PWSA said it remains unclear if that line played any role in the road's collapse.

"Until water rises to the street level or we get complaints about water pressure, it's hard for us to know where a given line could be leaking at a specific time," Pickering said.

Part of what makes this repair difficult is all of the underground utilities that need to be fixed before 10th Street can be paved.

A spokesperson for the mayor's office said that coordination is their main focus.

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