RED BANK, NJ: A deep sinkhole was reported yesterday around 2:15pm on the west side of E. Front Street at the traffic light where it T-bones with Globe Court, shutting down the right lane.

Cliff Keen, Director of Public Utilities for Red Bank was on the scene with borough worker Joshua Schmidt along with a support crew and trucks from the Monmouth County Highway Department.  West Front Street through East Front Street is designated as Monmouth County Road number 10.

When asked about the probable cause, Keen said, “The sinkhole is in alignment with a sanitary sewer main line so that’s what we’re focusing on.  Most of the time it’s caused by a utility failure. 

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It’s tricky the to determine the exact cause as the sewer line is at least fifteen feet deep and may be only leaking slowly, not causing any backups,” a sure indication of a sewer line break. 

“Red Bank at one time had trolley tracks that run (along the same line), and from older pictures, we saw items along the track such as old posts and even old tree trunks that could have been thrown in there as fill.  These could have deteriorated.  As we open this (and it’s not a sewer line break), and if we find nothing, then it was probably something that rotted away. We might see some remnants of some old wood." 

Another possibility is that it might be some old culverts that the top has fallen through causing the collapse.”  

Anything over five feet deep requires that a “digging box,” a rectangle shaped metal box with high walls be inserted into the hole to keep it from collapsing.

“The county’s bringing in their “Sewer Jet," so we may not have to dig out the hole by hand,” said Keen.   The sewer jet uses an extremely high pressure of water to clear the line.

The sinkhole was expected to be repaired, filled and paved over before morning.

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