Map Shows Extent of Sinkhole Issue on Portion of Butler Pike in Plymouth Meeting

When it was announced that Butler Pike between Germantown Pike and Plymouth/Flourtown Roads would not reopen in April 2019 as planned it was explained as due to additional sinkholes that had opened near the original sinkhole that closed the road in August 2018.

Earlier this month, Montgomery County made a presentation at a Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors meeting that offered more details on each specific sinkhole. Below is the map and we broke out the text so its easier to read. The road closure started with the discovered of Sinkhole 1.

Sinkhole – 1
Discovered on 8/9/2018
2′ diameter sinkhole in road shoulder and approx 17′ x 8′ x 5′ depth opening below culvert and adjacent to Verizon communications vault.

Sinkhole – 2
Discovered on 9/10/2018
1.5′ diameter sinkhole behind curb extending towards Aqua valve boxes. Approx 3′ measurable depth.

Sinkhole – 3
Discovered on 1/22/19
Two sinklholes (14′ x 10′ x 4′ depth and 12′ x 10′ x 4′ depth) adjacent to Norfolk Southern bridge wing wall and beneath tree adjacent to culvert channel.

Sinkhole – 4
Discovered on 4/8/19
2′ x 2′ x 4′ – 5′ depth adjacent to bridge wing wall.

Sinkhole – 5
30′ x 9′ section of soft soils with 6′ diameter x 2.5′ depth sinkhole immediately beneath asphalt to which there was an opening to a void to 2′ x 6′ – 7′ x 2′ depth alongside and beneath the 8″ Texas Eastern pipeline. Additional void space identified adjacent to the Norfolk Southern wing wall and Verizon utility pole within the 30′ x 9′ area.

The sinkhole area is traversed not only by the roadway, but train tracks and multiple utilities.

This image shows all the utilities running through the sinkhole/train bridge area. From left to right they are:

  • 12″ PECO gas main
  • 12″ Texas Eastern pipeline
  • 10″ sanitary sewer main
  • 8″ Texas Eastern pipeline
  • 12″ Aqua water main
  • Verizon duct bank.

Thus far, PECO and Norfolk Southern have stated that the area is safe for their operation.

More to come.

Photos: Two photos in article are of exhibits from Montgomery County. Sydelle Zove (sinkhole map), Deb Friedman (bridge/utilities). Top photo,