A section of Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul’s Lowertown district crumbled into the ground Sunday morning, leaving a large sinkhole that shut down the busy corridor and left a nearby hotel without water.
Water service in the area was expected to return Sunday evening, said Steve Schneider, general manager for St. Paul Regional Water Services. Crews were replacing a 5- to 6-foot section of pipe as well as a cross, the juncture where two pipes come together.
A segment of Kellogg extending a block in either direction from Wall Street was damaged and will need repairs, Schneider said. It will be closed to traffic but may be open to local businesses in the coming days.
Crews were notified about the broken water main near Kellogg Boulevard and Wacouta Street — close to Kelly’s Depot Bar & Grill — around 9:25 a.m. Sunday and were on-site all day, he said.
Workers were able to get the water shut off in about 40 minutes, but several nearby buildings were without water all afternoon and into the evening. Businesses without water by midafternoon Sunday included the nearby Hyatt Place hotel.
Schneider said crews are still excavating the area to determine what caused the main to break and open up a sizable hole in Kellogg Boulevard.
A Kelly’s Depot employee said the bar opened shortly after noon Sunday, later than usual, but that the water is working fine.
It was a different story, though, at the Hyatt, which had no water. The hotel was giving out free bottled water to drink, and guests also had to use that water to flush toilets, said Laticia Guertin, front desk manager.
The hotel’s 149 rooms were full Saturday night, Guertin said. Many people had finished breakfast and returned to their rooms to get ready for the day when the water main broke.
A few were upset that they weren’t able to shower, she said, but most were understanding because they realized the hotel did not have any options.
“It’s out of our control,” Guertin said. “I mean, there’s like a sinkhole in the street.”