UPPER MERION — A portion of U.S. Route 202 shut down for much of last week when a sinkhole formed closed once again this weekend, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Deputy Communications Director Brad Rudolph cited “pavement failure” as a primary reason for the closure. This time it applies only to the northbound lanes of U.S. Route 202, between Henderson Road and Saulin Boulevard.
Motorists beginning their morning commutes were advised to “allow for extra time” and followposted detours at Henderson Road and Saulin Boulevard. Rudolph said in a statement Sunday night that “backups and delays will occur.”
The left northbound lane was closed Saturday night, and the right lane shut down at 11:15 p.m. Sunday, according to PennDOT officials.
The sinkhole was first identified July 10 when PA American Water crews were assessing a six-inch water main break Monday afternoon that was impacting service for more than a dozen customers, according to Kara Rahn, PA American Water’s senior manager of government and external affairs for eastern Pennsylvania. Repairs were made July 11.
The road had reopened to traffic at 8:20 p.m. on July 12. It had been scheduled to open sooner, but last week’s hot temperatures complicated matters. When asked about the circumstances leading up to the incident, officials have not yet determined what caused the sinkhole to appear.
Rudolph speculated on several possibilities, but said in a phone interview with MediaNews Group last week that “we can’t tell whether it was a water main break or it was storms — lots of water under there.”
It’s unclear how long the closure will remain in effect, but PennDOT officials estimate it will continue until “engineers can assess the extent of the new damage and develop a plan to perform additional sinkhole repair(s).”