St. Paul Sinkhole Reveals Much Bigger Underground Sewer Problem

Updated: 06/13/2014 8:14 PM
Created: 06/13/2014 4:51 PM
By: Kate Renner

A sinkhole that caved in more than a month ago in Saint Paul's Phalen neighborhood is still waiting to be fixed.

It happened all the way back on May 9, at the corner of Johnson Parkway and Phalen Blvd.

According to Metropolitan Council Interceptor Services, if only the sinkhole needed to be repaired they could have done weeks ago. But crews found corroded pipes that stretched for miles and miles 25 feet underground.

It's estimated replacing the 2,500 feet of bad pipe could take two to three more months by the Metropolitan Council.

The Met Council set up a temporary sewage system above ground. The black pipes are carrying the 12-20 million gallons of waste water usually pumped through the area each day.

"Clearly if we didn't take advantage of the temporary pumping in place, we'd have to be in there again in the fairly near future," said Bill Moeller, Metropolitan Council, Interceptor Services Assistant General Manager.

Neighbors are frustrated by all of the congestion in the area. Much like the detours, the damage is widespread and costly. It's an estimated $3-5 million, which the Met Council wasn't planning to spend.

The money will come from the Met Council's capital improvement project. They say they'll just have to shuffle the rehabilitation needs of other projects since $3-5 million are now marked for the sewer system.

The Met Council expects to open one lane in each direction on Phalen Blvd. and Johnson Parkway by the end of next week.

Photo: KSTP-TV

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Broken Clouds
70° | 58°
  • Feels like: 60° F
  • Wind: WSW 3mph
  • Humidity: 90%