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Sinkhole closes street near USF campus

Battling the cold temperatures and morning traffic wasn’t the only challenge in getting to USF’s campus on Wednesday.

A sinkhole was discovered late Tuesday night on a 50th street sidewalk near Anthony Pizzo Elementary School, said University Police spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross, closing off 50th street from Fowler Avenue to Elm Drive, east of USF’s campus.

Officials on scene said that a city water main broke at the site. However, the specific cause of the sinkhole and cost of damage could not be confirmed.

Tampa and county officials are handling the situation because it technically happened off campus, Ross said. Tampa Police officials did not return phone calls and messages Wednesday from The Oracle. 

An alert from the USF Physical Plant described the size of the hole as “large — about the size of a pickup truck.” A smaller sinkhole was found on Orange Drive, Ross said. It was immediately filled, but the area is still being heavily monitored.

According to the alert, repairs on both the sinkhole and the water pipe could take up to one week.

Additional reporting Mauriett Chayeb, Mia Shuler and Mike Wilson.