The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says barricades will remain in place until the Department of Transportation can fix the hole Thursday morning.
A 4- by 6-foot-wide hole that has shut down one lane of Atlantic Boulevard under the Interstate 95 overpass since Wednesday night was apparently started by a damaged storm drain under the roadway, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The sinkhole was caused by a utility company that nicked the Jacksonville drain weeks ago while working to relocate its own telecommunications line, department spokeswoman Gina Busscher said.
Qwest/Century Link had done some test drilling there as it worked to relocate its lines as part of the Department of Transportation’s $158 million Overland Bridge project, Busscher said. That ongoing project was begun in January to rebuild the I-95 corridor from the Fuller Warren Bridge south to almost Emerson Street.
Either Qwest or the state will begin road repairs Friday, she said.
“A contractor … apparently hit a storm drain when they were tying to locate it,” Busscher said. “We had a big rain come through and it went through the box culvert. With it being damaged, it collapsed and the road went down. … If they don’t fix it, we will fix it for them and bill them.”
Qwest is one of many utility companies working involved as the Overland project begins rebuilding the elevated interstate over San Marco and other parts of the city’s Southside.
The road collapse and 4-foot-deep hole forced the state and city to shut down one eastbound lane of Atlantic Boulevard at Kings Avenue. The hole was not causing any traffic backups during morning rush hour since barricades and warning lights were set up well in advance of the blocked-off area.