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Sinkhole shuts down light rail operations in Baltimore

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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A light rail platform collapsed in downtown Baltimore as a result of a sinkhole.
Baltimore DPW

As the city of New Orleans braces for Tropical Storm Barry, Baltimore is already getting a firsthand look at how much destruction water can produce.

Crews were scrambling to repair a sinkhole before heavy rains hit the area on July 11. It’s been a week of water-related havoc in the city, which has disrupted light rail service. Two water mains have broke, and a train derailed in the Howard Street tunnel.

A light rail platform collapsed as a result of the sinkhole, and flowable fill was being pumped below ground in an attempt to stabilize the area. It could take weeks before light rail will be up and running again in Baltimore. The Department of Public Works wants to make sure the area is safe before repairs can begin. In the meantime a free bus is available to Light RailLink customers.

On Howard and Pratt streets, 12-in. pipes have replaced the failed 36-in. stormwater drain so the city can deal with the rain. Large pumps also have been installed, and officials believe Pratt Street will be back open to motorists some time on Friday.

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