Anti Climactic Photo of Huge Sink Hole in Adams Morgan

MPD sent word:

“20 ft deep sink hole 4 ft wide front of 2201 champlain nw, no injuries.”

Thanks to a friend for sending the photo – which is not nearly as massive as I imagined…

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14 Comment

  • Very anticlimactic but they are like icebergs in that there is always more than meets the eye beneath the surface. I wonder how much of this sink hole has to do with the recent construction and replacement of water lines, etc on 18th st just feet from the sink hole.

  • Applying the label “anti-climatic” misses the technical situation and reported dimensions of the sinkhole itself. This is a large, dangerous sinkhole similar to an underground cave. Only the top 3 inches shows the 4 X 4 hole. The reported large dimensions are correct. When the interior is viewed, the sinkhole is 18 feet deep, and measures 20 feet by 18 feet. So only that 3 inch layer of concrete across the top keeps the entire area from falling in. This is why MPD has so much of the intersection blocked off (maybe approximately 50 ft on either side.) This will take some time to fix–a major undertaking making the area impassable. Sooo that’s the reason for the original List Serv postings.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I apologize for the confusion – all I was saying was that the photo was anti climactic. Obviously the situation is pretty terrible. I gathered that from the MPD report saying it went 20 feet down. And then I saw the photo above.

      Anyway, I hope it gets fixed quickly. And it is a small miracle nobody got hurt.

  • Good evening.

    Lisa is absolutely right as to the scope and seriousness of this sink hole.

    Storm drains are perhaps a not so fun topic to write about on this forum, but it this is important to our neighborhood particularly at this intersection.

    I’ve been working on this situation for years and I predicted that this sink hole would eventually cave. Here below is a message I just sent to the head of Water and Sewer, DDOT, our Councilman and some of my neighbors on Champlain:

    Miami, Friday 4 November 2011.

    Autumn greetings from South Florida, ladies and gentlemen.

    It is with lament that I find myself writing once again about our notorious storm drain and catch basin on the Northwest corner of Champlain Street and Kalorama Road.

    It’s a darn shame that reconstruction of this vital drain was not included in the scope of work done in 2009 with the reconstruction and one way reopening of lower Champlain.

    I cannot not overstate the sheer volume of storm water that comes down from the Church on Euclid Street down the long alley of the 2300 and 2400 block of 18th Street together with all the run off down Champlain from as high as Euclid as well – – all of it making its way to this one single storm drain.

    The problem is exacerbated during the heavy summer rains and this large sink hole that’s now developed is I suspect a direct result of improper channeling underground further downhill towards the new construction and the new storm drains and catch basins.

    Here again are some of the pictures I sent you last year when I last cleaned out the drain myself shortly after I helped a cab driver who got caught in this catch basin gutter during a heavy storm in July 2010 which I also wrote you about.

    Let us address this once and for all by closing the intersection, excavating and properly channeling this underground. We’ve been writing each other for years about this. Some is captioned below.

    I will be in Washington later this month, the week before Thanksgiving if I can be of any further assistance in this matter.

    Sincerely yours,


  • Ufda! 20X18 foot hole under that little opening?!?

    I drive that intersection regularly – yikes, it could have swallowed up my entire car!!!

  • I always love when people who have no idea what they are talking about, discuss things amongst the many as though they do.

    “I suspect a direct result of improper channeling underground further downhill towards the new construction and the new storm drains and catch basins”

    Un huh…ok then. Glad you could clear that all up for us from Florida.

    Signed – Geotechnical Engineer

    • Why the snark? Obviously Carlos is familiar with the intersection. If his assessment is incorrect, perhaps you could enlighten us as to what caused the situation rather than insult others.

  • From Alert DC:
    DC Water reports that Kalorama Rd. between 18th St. and Ontario Rd. NW will be blocked along the with the 2200 block of Champlain St. NW for the next two to three days. Repairs are being made to a 39 inch sewer main.

  • Imagine a sinkhole opening on 18th street in Adams Morgan around 2:30am on a Saturday evening (…one can dream…)

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