‘Cave in’ slows traffic on Padre


Port Isabel-South Padre Press

A broken sewer line is suspected to have caused a small cave-in of the road surface of Padre Boulevard, said Laguna Madre Water District General Manager Carlos Galvan.

Galvan was notified about the hole that had formed in the northbound lanes at the intersection of Padre Boulevard and State Park Road 100 after 6 p.m. Wednesday, he said.

“There’s a small cave in – not a big one – but we’ve got to take care of it,” he said. “It’s not that deep, but it could get deeper.”

Barriers had been erected around the hole and traffic had been diverted around the area by Wednesday night, but repairs hinged upon knowing where nearby utilities were, Galvan said. “We’re going to have to wait for utility spotters to tell us where all utilities are at,” Galvan said. Those utilities include electrical, cable and telephone lines.

“It looks like there’s a broken sewer line in there,” he said, but explained that workers would still have to investigate to make sure.

“We’re going to take the asphalt out of the way and open the manhole and look into it and see if there’s anything broken close to the manhole,” Galvan said. “If not, we’re just going to dig the lines around it and see what’s connected to it and see what’s broken,” he said.

Once the source of the problem is identified, crews will work to repair the issue, then fill in the hole. “Once we fix the crack, or broken line, we’ll cover it back up,” Galvan said. The hole will be filled, first with river sand, then cement stabilizer, then caliche and finally asphalt, Galvan explained. He added that the asphalt won’t be added until about a week after repairs are made. The filler materials will need time to settle before asphalt can be laid, he said. Drivers will still be able to use the lane once the caliche is in place, though.

Galvan was hopeful that the issue could be addressed overnight, while the tide remained low and before daytime traffic could be impacted. “(We’re) hoping that the low tide now, right now, will help us, because when it’s high tide you get a lot of water infiltration from the sea,” he said. The water table is between three to four feet, he said.

“Looks like, hopefully, we can tackle it tonight before the traffic comes in the morning,” he said. The area remained blocked off as of Thursday morning.

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