A sinkhole has been discovered beneath the cobblestones and brick that top Salem's Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. The sinkhole was located near the intersection of Central Street and Essex Street, a location heavy in foot traffic particularly from spring until Halloween.
The sinkhole had a depth of 10 feet, a width of 4 feet, and would have likely collapsed within a few months had it not been discovered during work related to the expansion of the Peabody Essex Museum.
City engineers believe the sinkhole developed when a concrete-based sewer pipe broke down, causing it to begin leaking into a nearby manhole. This action in turn washed away the soil over time and created the sinkhole.
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