- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2003

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A huge hole opened in the pavement on M Street NW in Georgetown last night, forcing police to close the road at the end of the evening rush hour.
Firefighters were working to stabilize a chunk of the roadway near Key Bridge that collapsed in a landslide about 7 p.m.
An underground water leak at the scene of a construction project in the 3300 block of Bank Street caused the collapse, D.C. fire department spokesman Alan Etter said. A leaking 6-inch water main caused the ground to buckle, bringing down a retaining wall and a 30-foot part of the road.
"What we're concerned about is that there will be further collapse," Mr. Etter said.
A 30-foot portion of the road had slid about 50 feet into an underground construction site, he said, adding that a construction company has been working on an underground parking lot there.
No injuries were reported and no one had to be rescued, but the landslide buried a contingent of construction equipment, Mr. Etter said. There was a large pool of water at the bottom of the construction pit.
D.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Rice said three lanes of M Street would be open to inbound traffic for the morning rush, but there could be lane restrictions in the evening because the slide took out many of the outbound lanes.
The water main was shut off, but only two customers were affected. A few Washington Gas customers were without service. Electricity was rerouted.
The fire department turned the stabilization effort over to a contracting company to determine how best to secure the area.
Police closed off both directions of M Street from Wisconsin Avenue to 34th Street, and the D.C. Department of Transportation and utility crews were on the scene to assess any underground damage.
Patrick Badgley

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