When a large sinkhole swallowed a sizeable chunk of downtown Fukuoka final week, the mayor vowed to “do our utmost to restore important infrastructure.” He wasn’t kidding. Within a week, the street was better than new.
The sinkhole appeared around 5 am on November 8, creating a hole about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool. By midmorning it had devoured about 8,700 square feet of road, signs and light poles, and was filling with water. The mess knocked out electricity, water and other services to 800 households and caused delays at a train station and the airport.
No one had time for that nonsense. That afternoon, workers were filling the hole just enough to allow crews to repair sewage pipes and buried utility lines. That done, they poured a mixture of soil, water, and cement into the hole—they use more than 7,100 cubic meters of the stuff in all– into the 65-foot-deep hole. Then they set to work repairing street lights, replacing signs, and repainting the street. Exactly one week later on November 15, it looked like nothing ever happened.
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