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Nesting rodents cause some road woes in city

Fredericksburg workers fill a sinkhole that appeared Sunday on Canal Street near Princess Anne Street. Rodents apparently broke through a sewer line and nested under the road. / Photo by KATELYN LEBOFF

Fredericksburg workers fill a sinkhole that appeared Sunday on Canal Street near Princess Anne Street. Rodents apparently broke through a sewer line and nested under the road. / Photo by KATELYN LEBOFF

Rodents create dens underground all the time, but not usually underneath city streets.

On Sunday evening around 6 p.m., Fredericksburg’s Public Works Department responded to a report of a sinkhole on Canal Street near its intersection with Princess Anne Street.

Workers found a 2-by-4-foot hole that was about 2 feet deep.

“This is pretty bizarre,” Josh Knight, superintendent of public works said Monday. “But it looked as if some sort of rodent had eaten its way through the sewer line, and above those lines there was a den created by whatever rodent had done it.”

There was a small hole about the size of a fist where the rodent had chewed its way through the pipe.

“The [sewer line] downtown was put in many, many years ago, and a lot are clay or metal, cast-iron piping,” Knight said. “We have all different types of piping downtown. Just like anything else, the older things get, the easier they deteriorate.”

Public Works shut down that block of Canal Street immediately after the call to keep traffic off the street.

On Monday morning, the Public Works water and sewer crew began repairs

By 4 p.m., the road was compacted and repaved, said Jason Breummer, crew leader of the water and sewer crew.

Knight originally suspected heavily saturated soil as the cause of the hole because of all the rain and snow this past winter.

Finding rodents at the root of the issue was a shocker, he said, adding it “made for a pretty unique Monday morning and Sunday evening.”

Katelyn Leboff: 540/374-5417

kleboff@freelancestar.com

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/newsdesk/2014/04/21/nesting-rodents-cause-some-road-woes-in-city/