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Sinkhole opens up near City Lights Boulevard in Fairbanks

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 5:03 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A large sinkhole has opened up off of City Lights Boulevard, threatening the ground stability of the nearby area.

Nearby resident Wintr Graham first noticed the hole about three weeks ago. “It looked like it was just a black tarp on the ground. I thought maybe one of the neighbors threw something over there.”

The sinkhole cuts right across an easement often traversed by area residents.

“Kids bike up and down it, kids walk up and down it,” Wintr said.

“People [were] four-wheeling and snow machining by,” her husband Glen Graham added.

According to the Grahams, this is not the first time the ground has fallen in. “Several neigbors have chimed in and said that this actually collapsed last year as well and was filled in,” Wintr said.

The two called in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Engineering Department to take a look. “Their kind of take on it is that this is going to keep happening and it’s going to keep collapsing further down onto our property, [and] the water is now going under City Lights Boulevard, and it’s going to collapse City Lights Boulevard eventually,” Wintr explained. “They were like ‘It could be weeks. It could be next year. It could be in ten years.’”

Day by day, the hole is expanding, according to Wintr. ”Every time we come over and look at it, it’s bigger. The walls keep collapsing in more and more.”

The solution may be a culvert, according to the engineers. “Because water’s running in through the sinkhole, underneath the ground, and coming up on our property, and there’s no culvert under City Lights,” Wintr said.

Meanwhile, tape has been put up to caution passersby of the hazard.

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