Unexpected damage halts repairs to massive downtown sinkhole that swallowed PAT bus

Repairs on sinkhole that swallowed bus stopped due to unexpected damage

PITTSBURGH — Repairs to the massive sinkhole in Downtown Pittsburgh that partially swallowed a Port Authority bus in October have come to a grinding halt.

And it has to do with an underground tunnel we never knew about.

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In addition to the utility lines under 10th street – where the road collapsed as the bus was stopped at a traffic light on Oct. 28 – there is a tunnel underneath all of it. That tunnel, which is 28 feet underground, is used to supply steam to heat downtown businesses.

It was damaged when the sinkhole opened up, and crews are trying to figure out how to fix it.


The city’s chief operations officer told Target 11 crews have basically done all they can until PAC Thermal repairs the tunnel, which may be more difficult than they first thought.

“It took them a while to clean out the tunnel, and the fix is pretty complicated, so there is some complicated engineering that needs to happen before they make that repair,” said Kinsey Casey.

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Casey said PAC Thermal is working with an engineer on design plans. In the meantime, the closure is still taking its toll on nearby businesses.

Regarding the timetable on when the repairs will be made, city officials said they hope it won’t take six months or up to a year.

Port Authority bus that ended up in sinkhole now back in service