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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sinkhole opens in front of UF Health Shands Hospital

<p>A sinkhole, about 18 feet deep, opened near the main entrance of UF Health Shands Hospital on Nov. 15, 2015.</p>

A sinkhole, about 18 feet deep, opened near the main entrance of UF Health Shands Hospital on Nov. 15, 2015.

A sinkhole opened in the grass about 100 feet from the main entrance of UF Health Shands Hospital on Sunday morning.

Behind a chain-link fence and strands of yellow caution tape, Gainesville Police officers and Utility Services Gainesville employees investigated the hole.

"It’s scary-looking now," one of the employees yelled to an officer. After the man unraveled a tape measurer down the sinkhole, he said the hole was about 18 feet deep.

The sinkhole is 5 feet in diameter, and geological engineers will evaluate the sinkhole today, Melissa Blouin, the UF Health director of news and publications, wrote in an email.

Nobody was hurt, but for the safety of citizens and visitors, traffic is being routed away from the intersection of Archer Road and Southwest 16th Street, according to the email.

Georgeanna Freeman, 58, said when she left the hospital at 10 p.m. Saturday after visiting her son, the sinkhole wasn’t there.

"It could get bigger real fast," she said as she watched the men look at the sinkhole.

The sinkhole poses a risk, but Freeman said she wasn’t surprised to see one in Florida.

"With all the limerock, it’s a bunch of Swiss cheese," she said.

For an unknown period of time, valet parking will be available at the Children’s Hospital entrance, according to the email. Patients and visitors can also park in the East Garage. The West Entrance and Cancer Hospital will serve as alternative drop-off areas.

Contact Giusepe Sabella at gsabella@alligator.org and follow him on Twitter @Gsabella

A sinkhole, about 18 feet deep, opened near the main entrance of UF Health Shands Hospital on Nov. 15, 2015.

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