Chicago Sinkhole: Road Swallowed Up After Water Mains Leak (Photo)

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(Fox Screen Shot)A large sinkhole has opened up and swallowed part of the road in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood.

A Chicago sinkhole has opened up, swallowing part of a road in the West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago on Monday morning.

According to reports, locals have described feeling the earth beneath them shake, and then hearing the gushing of water. Soon after that some were able to see the street in front of their homes collapse, as a large chunk of the side of the road and the grassy area adjacent to it was swallowed up.

The alarming incident has shocked locals, with authorities quickly coming out to assess the scene and close down the road.

After an initial analysis, authorities are indicating that a leak in a water main had been the cause. The leaking water had begun to undermine the pavement, and had weakened the subsurface to the extent that the ground caved in and collapsed into the sinkhole.

Managing Deputy Commissioner Bill Bresnahan has said, "It eventually washed-out the street and then the street just collapsed on top of everything. Once the street came down, it broke the water main which caused the big early this morning."

It now appears as though a huge amount of work will have to be undertaken to get the street back in working order. Officials will have to open up the entire street since its structure has been compromised. Reports indicate that the road will have to be dug up and then filled in again to ensure the ground is solid and compact so the safety of local residents is maintained.

Water to locals was shut off in the aftermath of the sinkhole, however, water should be back up early Tuesday, according to some estimates.