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New sinkhole in King of Prussia slows holiday shopping traffic on Route 202

New sinkhole on Route 202 slows holiday shopping traffic in King of Prussia
New sinkhole on Route 202 slows holiday shopping traffic in King of Prussia 02:29

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) -- Crews working for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation scrambled Thursday to fix a new sinkhole on Route 202 / East Dekalb Pike between Henderson Road and Saulin Boulevard while drivers struggled with slow traffic during the final shopping days before Christmas.

Just a little over a week before Christmas, shoppers stared at glowing arrows and road-closed signs. Crews worked as fast as they could to fix another sinkhole on Route 202. Mary Kenny managed to get into the charity thrift shop Marian's Attic near the completely shut-down northbound side of the road.

"So, I just used my imagination and I was like, OK, go down the way. You go to Giant and just come up and then in. No problem," Kenny said.

She was happy to have the place nearly to herself Thursday. However, Assistant Manager Lisa Cristinzio wished the shop was more crowded.

"Especially before the holidays, we would have quite a few more customers in the store at this hour this day," she said.

RELATED: Route 202 fully reopened in King of Prussia after 2 week closure

Cristinzio said lane closures kept many shoppers away. PennDOT Assistant District Executive of Construction Harold Windisch said this stretch of Route 202 looked much the same this summer when two sinkholes formed weeks apart.

"I'm tired of coming in and coming back here," Windisch said. "I think we all are."

He said, this time, crews were repairing a leaking water line that stretched underneath the highway. That's when they found a hole that could have compromised the roadway. Windisch blamed the geology of the area.

"There's probably a big area of limestone and also when water infiltrates the area," Windisch said. "When water hits limestone, it erodes limestone, and that is what happened here."

He said crews will pour in a liquid material called flowable fill that will harden. He said it works better than concrete. Windisch said that later, PennDOT will look for more holes before they can develop and shut down the road again.

For now, his holiday wish is this: "For right now, we want to get it restored, open it up, so we can get traffic moving."

PennDOT officials hoped to reopen all lanes, northbound and southbound, by the weekend. 

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