Sinkholes in Anchorage and Mat-Su trigger partial road closures

Update, 11:30 a.m. Friday: Department of Transportation crews repaired a sinkhole on Minnesota Road overnight and the road was fully reopened by 6 a.m. Friday, department spokesman Justin Shelby said.

Crews began excavating the sinkhole Thursday night and found that it was caused by a collapsed sewer line, he said. That line was repaired and the hole was filled and the road repaved, Shelby said.

Original story:

Repairs were underway Thursday after sinkholes formed on Minnesota Drive and on the Glenn Highway near Palmer, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused either hole to form.

State transportation officials closed the center lane of northbound Minnesota Drive on Wednesday around 7 p.m. after construction crews in the area noticed a small sinkhole that formed near the intersection with 26th Avenue, said transportation department spokesman Justin Shelby. The area had recently been repaved as part of a resurfacing project, he said.

All northbound lanes of Minnesota Drive were slated to be shut down around 7 p.m. Thursday between 26th and 15th avenues so crews can carry out repairs, he said.


It wasn’t immediately clear how long repairs would take because crews will evaluate how extensive the sinkhole is once they excavate the area, but Shelby said he hoped the temporary repairs would be completed before Friday morning’s commute.

Officials said traffic was reduced to one lane Wednesday afternoon on the Glenn when a sinkhole formed just east of the Parks Highway interchange, between the Matanuska Spur Road and Kepler Lake. That strip of highway has been undergoing construction this summer and workers in the area noticed the sinkhole, Shelby said.

The sinkhole was relatively small and crews filled and compacted the area before repaving it so it could open again Thursday morning, he said. Crews plan to monitor the area daily and will further evaluate it while doing utility relocation work in early July, he said.