Akron has blocked off Kling Street near the intersection of Rankin Street after a large sinkhole, about 20 feet long, 15 feet wide and 12 feet deep, was discovered.
“We want to make sure nobody gets hurt,” said Public Service Director John Moore, who said a resident alerted the city to the problem by calling the 311 information line about 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Moore said the hole contains sewer lines and has no water running through it. He said he didn’t see any gas lines inside.
City highway maintenance supervisor Jim Aitken, who was called to the scene, said he would have to check the sewer lines up and down the road before he could determine the cause of the collapse. He said the street will be fixed, but not overnight.
Daniel Hall, 22, who lives in the block, said cars had been driving on the street all day and he thought there was something wrong with the cars because of the clinking sounds he heard.
He was sitting on his porch at Kling and Cross streets when he saw a green pickup truck come to a halt.
“He got out of his truck and said there’s a hole in the street,” Hall said. “I thought it was a pothole and walked over, and the next thing we knew, it started spreading and pieces of concrete kept falling and it started caving in even more. It’s kind of scary; I’m glad I used my one passage of the day.”
He said Kling is not a main street, but it can get pretty busy during the weekend.
“It was a matter of time, drainage on this street is poor, so I think it was ready to buckle,” said Hall, a recent University of Akron graduate. “Thankfully, it happened in the daytime when it’s easier to see.”
Veni Cesta, 23, of Kling Street, said he drove on the road to go to the grocery store just an hour before the cave-in.
“There was no hole then, just a little dip,” he said. “A lot of people like to park on the street, so it’s a good thing no one was parked there when it collapsed.”
Two other students who live around the corner on Rankin Street said they had been hearing unusual noises for two to three hours before the street caved in.
“Every time a car would drive by, it sounded like a car was bottoming out, but we didn’t know what they were hitting. It was just a loud scraping sound like a thumping noise,” said Brianna Nameth, 23. “It was loud, too. The cars go fast on this road. It sounded like the cars were bouncing off the ground.”
Her friend, Molly Schatzel, 21, who was visiting from Kent, said they were inside the house, but could hear every time a car hit that spot.
“It’s crazy,” she said.
One man who was painting in a house nearby said he had just driven on the street before he found out it was blocked off. He said the road sounded funny as he drove, but he didn’t think anything of it.
“My car dipped,” said Michael Davis, 23, of Akron, “but I thought I was riding over a pothole, not a sinkhole.”
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or email@example.com.