Massive sinkhole opens up on Wildwood road

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WILDWOOD, MO (KTVI) – Beware of a massive sinkhole in Wildwood; the hole is about 20’ around and looks to be up to 40’ deep in spots.

Both Rose Newell and her granddaughter Sophia had ridden over the stretch of Melrose Road near Highway 100 not long before the hole opened late Tuesday afternoon.  Sophia on the bus coming home from school.

“We drove it over this and we were perfectly fine,” she said.

A short time later the hole opened after an SUV drove over it.

“Safety is the biggest concern.  It’s a rural road.  It just happened to be at the right spot and the right time to open up underneath the roadway,” said Wildwood Mayor, Tim Woerther.

At first, the hole at the surface was just about 3 feet in circumference with the true danger hidden deep below the pavement.   Caves are common in this part of St. Louis County, known for Karst topography, featuring limestone underground that may have given way quite a distance from the sinkhole.

“Water gets into (the limestone) and eats it away, basically rots it out.  So ultimately it creates those voids underneath the ground.  In this case it happened to be underneath the roadway, finally it worked itself up,” Woerther said.

“It’s just ridiculous.  I’m worried about getting out of here because I use the road to go 109,”

Rose Newell said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to be like that.”

“It’s much bigger than just a small hole in the road, a pot hole, by any stretch of the imagination.

It’s a pretty big void at this point,” Woerther said.

The plan is to have the road re-opened sometime over the weekend:  filling the hole with rock then re-paving.  Workers had yet to dig out the hole back to the source of the problem and seal it off.

Where that source might be was still a big unknown, Wednesday.

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