Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityUPDATE: Man discovers sinkhole under busy Berrien County road -- Now reopened | WSBT
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UPDATE: Man discovers sinkhole under busy Berrien County road -- Now reopened

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A sinkhole on Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County forced the road commission to shut down the entire highway.

Red Arrow was shut down Thursday between Warren Woods and Sawyer Roads, but reopened later in the day. The actual sinkhole is near Cherry Beach Road.


Memorial Day Weekend is always a busy one at Lakeside Antiques.

"It's been a tough winter for all of us and a lot of dealers are banking on a tent sale this weekend," said assistant manager Jeff Krohn.

Their biggest sale of the year starts Friday, but Krohn and other vendors are nervous about a huge sinkhole just north of the shop.

"It's a mess right now," Krohn said.

Crews worked to fix the hole that is 4 to 5 feet in diameter on the surface and more than 8 feet deep.

"What drives this whole issue is safety," said Berrien County Road Commission managing director Louis Csokasy. "Somebody can hit that, if there are other sinkholes, the possibility of other cars sliding into them."

Csokasy told WSBT what caused the sinkhole is actually 35 to 40 feet under the road. A stream runs underneath Red Arrow Highway through a culvert. That culvert has cracks in it, causing soil, dirt and sand to be sucked inside, creating the sinkhole.

"We hit this big bump, I never saw it," said Roger Harrington, the man who discovered the sinkhole Wednesday evening. "We just had hit like a big pothole. I knew it wasn't right."

Harrington is a Chikaming Township volunteer firefighter and was driving to dinner with his wife when he found the 'dip' in the road. He called dispatch over his fire radio then parked his own truck in the road to direct traffic until police officers arrived.

"I was here 3 years ago when this same thing happened," he said.

Harrington knew what he stumbled upon was serious because it's happened before - in the same spot.

Csokasy said he'll make sure it doesn't happen a third time.

"We need to go make sure there are no cracks in that culvert," he said.

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Csokasy said they're lucky the entire culvert didn't wash away. It's been there for about 80 years. That would have shut down the road for days and required outside crews to come in and fix it.

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