Small sinkhole found at USF Saraotsa-Manatee

Small sinkhole found at USF Saraotsa-Manatee

eearl@bradenton.comJanuary 29, 2014 

MANATEE -- A small sinkhole was found on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus Tuesday afternoon in the south parking lot.

"It is very small. Some people would call it a pothole," Rick Lyttle, director of facilities planning management, said Wednesday.

The sinkhole is about 30 inches across and about 10 inches deep.

Lyttle said the sinkhole and had not grown as of Wednesday morning.

USF Sarasota-Manatee hired a geotechnical engineer to determine the best way to fill the hole in. "We need to investigate what caused the sinkhole, and to do that we may to need drill underneath," Lyttle said. "We don't want to fill it in if there is a void underneath. We need to do our due diligence of finding out what caused it before we fill it in."

Lyttle said USF Sarasota-Manatee has never experienced a sinkhole before.

As the university continues to expand and add new buildings in the future, Lyttle said they will continue the protocol of boring for soil samples before designing a new building.

Lyttle said it will likely take between two or three days to fill the hole.

The parking lot remains open, but the area around the hole is blocked.

Ruth Lando, communications director for USF Sarasota-Manatee, said the sinkhole is barricaded for student safety.

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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