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Crews fill Duquesne sinkhole

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Duquesne public works crew members Bill Margita and Allan Chiesi level off gravel that was poured into a sinkhole at the intersection of Mehaffey and Hinnerman streets on Friday.

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By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Friday, April 18, 2014, 2:31 a.m.

State and city crews filled a sinkhole along Mehaffey Street in Duquesne on Thursday.

The hole, measuring approximately 10 feet wide and 8 feet deep, surfaced last Friday as a small opening that grew overnight, prompting crews to close the road near Hinnerman Street on Saturday.

A state Department of Environmental Protection inspector for the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation examined the area on Tuesday.

“We've seen holes up here before,” public works employee Allan Chiesi said. “We had one in a yard that was 20 feet deep a few years ago and one in a driveway before I was here.”

Most of the homes in that section of the city's Third Ward were built in the 1920s, and prior to that development, the land was mined for coal.

Crews said Thursday's filling job was relatively simple.

“(The state) figured it was safe to shoot the gravel right from the truck into the hole because the weight of the truck was far enough from the hole itself,” Duquesne crew member Bill Margita said.

More than 60 tons of crushed No. 1A gravel were delivered — most going into the sinkhole and a small supply left for city crews to add after the load settles.

One lane of Mehaffey Street was opened after the gravel was poured. Crews said it will be at least one week before it settles enough for paving.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

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