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Bluebonnet back open after crews successfully remove FedEx truck from sinkhole

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BATON ROUGE - EBRSO deputies and a pair of tow trucks were on the scene as part of Bluebonnet Boulevard was closed Tuesday morning as crews worked to extract a FedEx truck from a sinkhole.

The sinkhole was estimated to be around 10 feet deep, and had formed over an underground drainage line at the entrance to a Bluebonnet Boulevard business. Bluebonnet was closed at the 9300 block as recovery operations got underway.

Recovery operations were successful as the delivery truck was removed from the hole just before 11 a.m. Video below shows the result as crews managed to get the vehicle back on four wheels. The effort did require a second try though as crews were able to remove the truck on the first attempt, only to have the rear wheels slide back into the hole. The second try saw the FedEx truck with four wheels back on solid pavement.

One lane of Bluebonnet was reopened at around 11:20 a.m., and all lanes were reopened shortly after. Traffic in the area remains a mess and lingering congestion can be expected despite the recovery operation's conclusion. By the time traffic officials announced the all clear, congestion had reached Oak Hills Parkway on Bluebonnet before Highland Road.

According to Karen Khonsari with the Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) Program, the sinkhole was caused when a 24-inch, 1970's-era concrete pipe collapsed. Khonsari said the pipe was inspected according to schedule in 2013, so the root cause of the collapse will require further investigation. Repairs will be made by workers appointed by the SSO Program with no impact to area citizens and their sewer capabilities.

Officials said repairs are already underway, and they'll continue to monitor the situation during and after the work. There's no immediate danger to anyone in the surrounding residential and business areas with all sewage contained, according to Khonsari. 

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