Sinkhole that swallowed Lynden street could cost up to $1 million to fix

A failed culvert has created a sinkhole along North Eighth Street, resulting in a road closure for a fix that could take months, said Steve Banham, Lynden public works director.

The hole formed just south of the North Eighth intersection with Ivy Street, where a creek once passed through a culvert beneath the pavement. A 30-foot stretch of North Eighth Street is now gone, Banham said, between Ivy and Pine streets.

“The road’s not over it anymore,” Banham said. “The creek has won.”

Motorists are being detoured to North Park Street to the north and Pine Street to the south. Designing, permitting and installing a new culvert is likely to take “months,” and could cost between $500,000 and $1 million, Banham said.

A property owner alerted city crews about the failed culvert on Wednesday, Banham said. Crews worked into the night to pump out soil and remove pavement around the creek to prevent it from falling in and creating a dam, he added.

The sinkhole won’t get any larger, Banham said.

The hole did not damage the gas, sewer and power lines beneath the road, he added. A nearby resident’s yard was damaged.

The culvert, Banham said, was old and was a choke point for drainage. Crews plan to replace it with a much larger one. The culvert failure, Banham said, is likely the result of quick thaws this week, which overwhelmed the city’s creeks and ditches after last week’s heavy snowfall.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan