Erik Engle/ Mustang News

A large sinkhole ripped open Fredericks Street around 1:30 p.m. on March 17. It is between Kentucky Street and Albert Drive.

The sinkhole was caused by a broken piece of the water line. Parts of the sinkhole are more than 50 years old, according to San Luis Obispo Water Division Deputy Director Aaron Floyd.

“The cap from 1957 failed after all these years,” Floyd said. “A four-inch line did all of that damage.”

While San Luis Obispo Public Works was able to stop the gushing water by approximately 6 p.m., Fredericks Street will be closed indefinitely. The city will reassess damages on Monday and determine how much water gushed out of the pipe during the leak, according to Floyd. 

This is the second sinkhole that Floyd has seen in the last week in San Luis Obispo.

“We have 150 miles of pipe in the city and it’s all different ages,” Floyd said. “When it fails at all, it fails like that.”

While public works focused on stopping the massive leak, the San Luis Obispo Police Department and College Towing worked to move vehicles parked on the side of the street to a safer location.

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