By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Light RailLink isn’t running through Howard St., and neither is traffic, after a crew working on tracks there spotted a hole beneath the pavement over the weekend.

Heather Amato-Kempa stopped to check it out.

“This is kind of scary, because you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s very unpredictable,” she said.

What is known is that pipes beneath the street appear intact, but “water is always a culprit,” said Frank Murphy, with Baltimore’s Department of Transportation.

“It could have been the rain of late, but we don’t really know that. It’s only been speculated,” he added.

Sinkholes Caused Road Closures; Light Rail Service Suspended In Baltimore

Rain is a much firmer guess for the sidewalk collapse on 26th Street. A portion of retaining wall gave way when the earth gave way, but a lower wall held, allowing trains to travel into a tunnel. And it turns out, a tunnel is also below where Howard St. is sinking.

“At this point, the train tunnel is covered by several feet of dirt before you get up to the road,” Murphy said.

High pressure water was used to scour a way into a storm drain closest to the affected area. Debris was then vacuumed out, allowing a video camera to explore beneath the street.

The next step is something called “flowable fill,” which will be pumped into the underground hole.

“And that’s fill up the hole, and after that, we’ll turn the intersection back to the MTA,” Murphy concluded.

Work that is expected to take until the end of the week.

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Alex DeMetrick

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