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Neighbors on east Denver street speak out about numerous sinkholes

Sinkhole in East Denver
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jan 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-16 19:36:55-05

DENVER -- A water line break in east Denver caused a sinkhole that nearly swallowed a car on Saturday morning. Residents say, because of structural issues the road will likely cave in again.

At 3:00 in the morning, Jason Wissmer was woken up to voices outside his house. Thinking it was a robbery, he flipped his front porch lights on to see a car plunged into a hole in the middle of the street in front of his house.

"There was mud running all the way up almost to my lawn," explained Wissmer. "And it was started sinking more and more."

The 15-foot hole sank several feet into the ground. Pictures of the incident show standing water filling most of the hole. Officials with Denver Water say the old water main on the street had a leak that eroded the earth under the asphalt causing the crack. Wissmer says the old pipe, and the quick fixes to previous sink holes are creating more problems.

"It makes me feel scared living here, to have to worry about my car falling in the road," he said. "Every time this happens the road is moving up and down. And so the asphalt is separate cracking and you can just see all the places it's happening."

Denver Water responded to the incident in a statement saying "We have processes in place for our crews to immediately respond and restore water while minimizing the impacts to the community." The city replaces hundreds of thousands of feet of water pipe every year, and the pipe in front of Wissmer's house is set to be replaced this year.

However, Wissmer says the city leadership, heavily focused on growth, has failed to focus on the residents already living here.

"Just three blocks from your four blocks and here they want to build three or four three to six storey high apartment buildings. That's going to add how many more hundreds of cars people driving up and down this road," he said. "That is a danger."