Suspected sinkhole ties up Sunday traffic on EDSA, DPWH crews rushing remedial work

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At first glance, it seems like an ordinary pothole, one of those caused by contractors hastily abandoning their projects. Authorities, however, were alarmed by this suspected sinkhole on EDSA's southbound lane at the corner of Connecticut Street, and covered it with asphalt Saturday. On Sunday, DPWH crews did emergency re-blocking which they hoped to finish Monday morning. BERNARD TESTA, INTERAKSYON

MANILA – A normally easy Sunday traffic became a nightmare for motorists on the stretch of EDSA from Kamuning to the Greenhills area, owing to the emergency re-blocking by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as authorities raced to deal with a suspected sinkhole at the corner of EDSA and Connecticut Street.

Compounding the traffic woes, officials had scheduled the second dry-run for ASEAN summit hosting vehicles using designated VIP lanes on EDSA.

Earlier on Saturday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority had caused the sinkhole to be temporarily covered, with plastic barriers flagging motorists to avoid it pending further examination.

Officials said earlier the hole was one meter deep, but were bothered that it seemed to be even deeper – and wider – so they took extreme precautions, begging motorists to take alternatives routes coming from Quezon City to southern areas.

The re-blocking, begun by DPWH crews late Saturday, closed off three lanes of EDSA’s southbound lane near the corner at Connecticut, but the traffic jam went back all the way to Cubao.

MMDA and the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) had their hands full unscrambling traffic.

Earlier Saturday, the MMDA conducted an inspection to determine the extent of the potential hazard.

According to MMDA Operations Supervisor Bong Nebrija, the HPG first alerted them to the suspected sinkhole at the outer lane of EDSA’s southbound lane at the corner of Connecticut, and they promptly referred the matter to DPWH.

Authorities expressed confidence the DPWH could finish the re-blocking by Monday morning, when the start of the work week is expected to see even busier vehicular traffic.