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Sinkhole On Campus Creates Traffic Detour

by: Evan Murach

Driving around Penn State’s campus can sometimes be a hassle, and it’s not getting any easier thanks to a gaping hole that opened up over the weekend.

Penn State is asking drivers to steer clear of  a sinkhole that’s approximately 20 feet long, 15 feet wide and 5 feet deep. A portion of Bigler Road next to The Millennium Science Complex is closed while repair crews patch up the hole. Traffic is being diverted onto McKean Road to get drivers around the mess.

All CATA buses that use Bigler, including the Blue Loop, are being re-routed to University Drive. Stops at the Computer Science Building, Nittany Apartments and The Millennium Science Complex are all out of service.

Construction workers tell StateCollege.com they haven’t determined whether it is an actual sinkhole. The problem might have been caused be a leak in a nearby storm drain that washed away the soil.

Sinkholes aren’t exactly rare on campus.

Just this past April, a sinkhole opened up outside of the Ford Building on Park Avenue and in February 2014 one closed part of a parking lot outside the Electrical Engineering East Building.

As a result, repair crews are used to filling them in, said Geoff Rushton, assistant director of Penn State News and Media Relations.

“[Sinkholes] do happen and that’s really attributable to the bedrock in the area,” Rushton says. “It’s common in areas that are rich in limestone for these to occur.”

Repairs on to the hole on Bigler are expected to last two weeks.

“While there are things going on during the summer, fortunately, if this is going to happen it’s not at an absolute peak time like when the regular academic year is in session,” Rushton said.

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