Sinkhole shuts down Main Street bridge in Los Lunas
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LOS LUNAS, N.M. – A major street in Los Lunas shut down Saturday night and stayed closed throughout Sunday.
Two people fell into a hole, and it made commutes difficult, especially on a busy day like Mother’s Day.
“Crews regrouped this morning, and they’re getting together to dig out some of that bridge and make sure that nothing has eroded past the center line,” said New Mexico Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Kimberly Gallegos.
Roads were closed from Carson Drive to Edeal Road. The bridge did not collapse, officials say the massive hole, and other damage underneath the bridge, came from an issue with the water reservoir next to the bridge.
“There’s culverts nearby that undermine the roadway and for that reason it caused some areas to erode, and that’s when we started to realize that we had to get traffic off of this roadway,” said Gallegos.
The erosion created this hole, but also caused damaged underneath to about half of the bridge.
NMDOT responded around 10 Saturday night to the erosion. The response came shortly after Los Lunas Fire Department came out to a call of two people falling into this hole in the middle of the night.
“So last night there was a couple of individuals that, because the erosion was happening underneath when they were walking over the actual the sidewalk collapsed, so they fell in. Fortunately, some bystanders that saw it happen, they were able to get one individual out. The second individual was on the side, firefighters along with some bystanders were able to get him up pretty quick,” said Los Lunas Fire Chief John Gabaldon.
Those people are okay, but the rising water levels might be a concern at this time of the year.
“This is the highest I’ve seen these rivers run in years, so we just have to be open about that and be checking our areas constantly to make sure this doesn’t happen anywhere else,” Gallegos said.
People trying to get across town have to take the long way around just to get to the other side of Los Lunas.
“Really bad because that means you have to, there’s no way to cross unless you go to Isleta or go all the way back to Belen,” said Alison, a Belen resident.
And on a busy day like Mother’s Day, it puts a lot of strain on people’s plans.
“I was on my way to go take her something for Mother’s Day, she literally lives on the other side of the road so that means I have to go all the way back to Belen, or like I said to Isleta to go around,” Alison said.
NMDOT said Sunday morning the goal is to get traffic flowing on the eastbound lanes, but only when things are completely safe.
“If that is the case where the center line, where it has not eroded pass the center line, then will be able to open eastbound traffic two ways,” said Gallegos.