Campus Point Drive Closed Off Due to Sinkhole

The collapse occurred around 7:20 a.m. and was reported to the police at 7:30 a.m. The sinkhole was very close to the intersection of Campus Point Drive and Campus Point Center, north of Scripps Memorial Hospital.

A sinkhole is an erosion of land caused when underground water dissolves minerals in the ground. A buried hole is created and as it gets larger, the land on top caves in.

A broken 30-inch diameter storm drain caused the hole to form 15 feet beneath the surface. The drain ruptured below the street and its runoff eroded the ground beneath the pavement. Dirt fell into the storm pipelines, clogging it and causing water to pool. 

Raw sewage ran into the pool after the dirt also cracked a 10-inch sewer pipe. 

San Diego storm water department spokesman Bill Harris said the storm pipelines had been installed in 1972 — the most recent pipes installed in the city were installed in 1992. 

Harris said that Wednesday’s rain likely added to the erosion of the decaying metal storm drain. The San Diego Water Department shut off the water main of the neighborhood in case of additional cave-ins. 

This affected 30  businesses in the area including Qualcomm, SAIC and the Campus Point Technology Center, the University City business park and residents in the area. The Scripps Memorial Hospital was not affected by the shutoff. Water was restored to the businesses Thursday night, but the water main remains shut off. Temporary sewer and water lines were put above ground for the businesses that have been affected by the broken drain. They will remain in place until the water main can be turned on again. Large hoses were used to vacuum out the liquid. 

A pipeline of reclaimed water and a bundle of telephone and fiber optic lines are running above the pipes. 

An electrical line runs adjacent to the hole. Harris said they needed to stabilize the utilities and find a way to repair the drain without damage. He had no estimate on when the roadway pipes will be repaired.

“We won’t be digging there until we know how much pipe we have to replace, how much we have to dig, then decide if we need an outside contractor and determine a funding source,” Harris said in an Oct. 7 San Diego Union-Tribune article “University City Road Still Closed for Sinkhole.”

Workers in the area were surprised by sinkhole.

“We just kind of looked at each other and said wow, we were driving over that for weeks,” Qualcomm worker Brian Padgett said in the Oct. 6 article of 10News, “Sinkhole Closes Street in University City.”