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Sinkhole on Father Hurley Boulevard Caused by Failure of Old Culvert

The 20 by 20 sinkhole on Father Hurley Boulevard was caused by the failure of a 38-year-old culvert pipe which had rusted out, according to County officials.

The sinkhole is expected to close traffic on one of Germantown’s most important north-south thoroughfares for a few days, but more bad weather may extend the time the road is closed, said Bruce Johnston, Chief of the Division of Transportation Engineering for the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

“We want to reopen it to traffic as quickly as we can,” said Johnston, “but we want to reopen the road only when it is safe to do so.”

Johnston explained that the sinkhole was the result of the massive amounts of rain coupled with an aging piece of infrastructure which Montgomery County didn’t even know was there until January of this year.

“This pipe, which is a corrugated metal pipe, was installed about 38 years ago,” said Johnson. “To be honest with you, we didn’t even know it was there until about January. It was built by a developer in the early 1980s, and it was never put onto our inventory of bridges and culverts. When we did find out it was there, we did an inspection of it.”