Let us begin by saying we are certain all of your St. Paul pothole stories are bad. Two busted tires? Bummer. Ayd Mill Road? Don’t get us started.
This is different.
On Monday afternoon, a Eureka Recycling truck was making its rounds through an alley near Fairview Avenue North and Portand Avenue when this happened, as captured by Imgur user MetalDeer3.
As far as we can tell, the road just kind of tried to eat it.
CEO Lynn Hoffman told Fox 9 that the pavement simply gave out and attempted to swallow the rear tire. Co-President Kate Davenport assures that the driver is okay, but it took three towtrucks and about 45 minutes to get the truck back, and it's certainly not driveable.
You may be thinking, “Man, that pothole must have been put there by the devil to punish us.” If so, you’re wrong. According to St. Paul Public Works, this is not actually a pothole – it’s a “void” or a sinkhole.
What’s the difference? So glad you asked. A pothole is a depression caused by a “failure of paving materials.” A void or a sinkhole is caused by erosion beneath the surface, which can collapse into a gaping maw without warning.
But you may as well be asking the difference between an alligator and a crocodile, because while they are indeed different, they are both very capable of ruining your day.
Two years ago, a University of Minnesota geology and geophysics professor told Fox 9 that there are about 14,000 mapped sinkholes in Minnesota. More than 10,000 of them are in Fillmore County, and now at least one of them is in the nightmares of a single truck driver.
Drive safe, everyone.