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HANFORD – A sinkhole likely caused by a failed irrigation pipe has shut down both lanes of traffic on 11th Avenue just south of Idaho Avenue, according to the Hanford California Highway Patrol office.

The sinkhole opened up around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday and was called in by a passerby, according to Hanford CHP Spokesman John Tyler.

The hole is located about a quarter mile south of Idaho where Lakeside Ditch flows under 11th at a 45-degree angle.

Tyler said there were no vehicle accidents associated with the hole, which appears to have formed spontaneously without the weight of a vehicle passing over the top.

He said the road is likely to be closed for a week.

The culprit appears to be the same thing that has caused other road sinkholes in the Hanford area in recent months: old irrigation pipes that are seeing high-volume flows for the first time in years.

The pipes have collapsed, causing sections of road to buckle.

Deputy Hanford Public Works Director John Doyel said many of the instances have involved old corrugated metal pipes that have rusted away, causing the water to flow free and eat away at the dirt supporting the pavement.

Tyler said he didn't know what kind of pipe is involved at the sinkhole that formed Wednesday.

Pictures show water flowing across the hole.


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