Water main where Cleveland street collapsed was more than 100 years old

CLEVELAND-- Aging infrastructure is likely to blame for a sinkhole on Cleveland's east side that swallowed a city vehicle on Thursday.

The Cleveland Division of Water received a call about a possible water main break on East 127th Street between Locke and Cornado avenues Thursday afternoon. When the water department investigator arrived, there was no water surfacing.

Alex Margevicius, commissioner of the Cleveland Division of Water, said the worker got out of the vehicle and walked the street. That's when the street collapsed and the city vehicle fell in. No one was injured.

At about 7 p.m., crews removed the vehicle. Work continued through the night and water service was restored to the area at about 12:30 a.m.

Margevicius said during the repair work, they noticed a sewer was also damaged and called the division of water pollution control. Now, workers are escalating 12 feet down to fix the sewer. That will likely take until Sunday.

Once the sewer work is complete, crews can fill in and repave the street, which remains closed until further notice. Margevicius said they hope to have that completed by mid-week.

While the Cleveland Division of Water does not know the exact cause of the sinkhole, Margevicius admitted the water main is older. He said the 6-inch water main was installed in 1913. This is the first record of it breaking on record in 30 years.

In 2013, city water workers were on East 127th Street to check for leaks. Margevicius said there was no indication of a problem at that time.

"Sinkholes are rare and sometimes we get a little dramatic like this," Margevicius said. He emphasized the city of Cleveland spends about $25 million a year on pipes.

More stories on the sinkhole here