Sinkhole Closes Lutz Park

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LUTZ, Fla. — A Tampa-area park was closed Wednesday after a sinkhole appeared in one of its roads, county officials said.

The crater in Hillsborough County’s Lake Park, about 15 miles north of Tampa, is about 6 feet across and 90 feet deep, according to measurements from a geotechnical engineering firm. No buildings are threatened.

Sinkholes are common in Florida because the peninsula is made up of porous carbonate rocks such as limestone that store and help move water underground. Over time those subsurface rocks can dissolve and the weight of sand and dirt above them can cause the area to collapse, creating a sinkhole.

Hillsborough County, where both Lutz and Tampa are located, is the third most sinkhole-prone county in Florida, the Insurance Journal said four years ago. Of the counties in the top five, only Marion, where Ocala is located, is outside the Tampa Bay area.

Lake Park encompasses 589 acres — almost a square mile — and has five lakes, cypress swamps, pine flatwoods and dense stands of hardwood forests, according to Hillsborough County’s website.

The entire park will be closed for an unspecified time until the sinkhole can be filled and the surrounding area reinforced, county officials said in email.

Article and Photo: WTSP