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Sinkhole develops on U.S. 75 in Luverne

A MnDOT official looks over the sinkhole at the intersection of U.S. 75 and Main Street Thursday afternoon in Luverne. Brian Korthals/Daily Globe

LUVERNE — The Rock County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging motorists to find an alternate route around one of Luverne’s busiest intersections after a 4-foot-deep sinkhole developed Thursday afternoon in the southbound lane of U.S. 75, at the intersection of Main Street.

It’s the same location that city crews opened up last week to repair a water main break, according to Rock County Sheriff Evan Verbrugge. He estimated the sinkhole to be about five feet across, and right in the middle of the southbound lane. Barricades are set up around the sinkhole, and vehicles are urged to use care in driving through the intersection.

Verbrugge said the city’s public works department was on the scene Thursday morning to try to level off the roadway, which had gradually become rougher and more bumpy since being repaired. Within about half an hour of the work being completed, the sheriff’s office received a call that it had caved in.

Because the sinkhole is located on a state highway, Verbrugge isn’t sure how soon it will be repaired.

“They’re working on trying to figure out (a solution),” he said, referring to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

U.S. 75 is scheduled for reconstruction this summer, but Verbrugge said a fix for the sinkhole will be needed before that work begins.

“We can’t leave the barricades up all summer,” he said.

Verbrugge said the sinkhole is large enough that “we could have definitely had a car in there.” His assumption is that a semi went over the area and weakened the material, leading to the sinkhole.

“Just be careful going through the intersection,” he cautioned motorists. “If you can avoid it, it would be better.”

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at The Farm Bleat

(507) 376-7330