Large sinkhole restricts eastbound traffic on Fifth Avenue near Merrill Field

A large sinkhole that formed early Thursday has closed two eastbound lanes of Fifth Avenue near Merrill Field Airport.

The two right lanes are closed between Concrete Street and Reeve Boulevard, police wrote in an online statement just before 9:30 a.m. The sinkhole is near Reeve.

A station manager with the Alaska Department of Transportation said at the scene it was unclear what caused the sinkhole. The hole was first noted by a maintenance worker. It looked small at first glance, the station manager said, but when crews took a closer look, it became clear it was a sinkhole.

Transportation department crews dug into the pavement to inspect the sinkhole and by about 10:45 a.m., it stretched nearly the width of a middle lane.

The lanes will be closed until repairs can be made, but it was not immediately clear how long that could take.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, focusing on breaking news. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota and previously helped cover the Nebraska Legislature for The Associated Press. Contact her at