South Wichita intersection remains blocked by sinkhole


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – All four lanes of Lincoln at South Laura street remain closed as of early Monday morning after a sinkhole opened up from a motorcycle crash over the weekend.

Police say it was about 1 a.m. Saturday morning, at the intersection of East Lincoln and South Laura Street when a motorcycle hit a water hydrant. Officers say they were trying to stop a motorcycle for a traffic violation earlier when the driver of the cycle refused to stop.

The chase only lasting a few minutes, but the damage will take time to repair.

“We have crews on call anyway and we did respond overnight to the incident of the motorcycle accident hitting the hydrant.” says Joe Pajor, Wichita’s Deputy Director of Public Works. “Our water distribution crews got on site and we were able to shut the water off on an isolation valve, a hydrant valve that just turns the water off to the hydrant and, therefore, there were no customers without water.”

The suspect in the crash was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

For now, traffic will be slow in the area for at least a couple of days.

“We have a contractor that does the pavement repairs for any utility work that occurs in the city and that contractor was mobilized today to begin to do assessment work and planning a response,” says Pajor. “And they are going to start working it this weekend to be able to try to get the street partially re-opened. Right now, it’s closed off all four lanes of Lincoln.”

Pajor says the crash broke a 12-inch water main, so a lot of water came rushing out in a short time. That water did a lot of damage, causing the sink hole.

The pavement could take until Wednesday to be fixed, according to Pajor.

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