Widening hole forces closure of roadway, restaurant in New Port Richey

A depression along a private roadway in Pasco County is growing faster than officials expected, going from 20 to 30-feet-deep in a 24-hour period.

In addition to closing a small roadway, officials asked a neighboring restaurant to temporarily close while they assess the situation.

The depression -- which is located on private property -- was first discovered Monday along Spring Haven Boulevard in New Port Richey. The homeowner's association for Spring Haven Condominiums is now working with an engineering firm and the county to address the issue.

"It's kind of scary. It's right up the street from where I live so yeah it's a little concerning," resident Crystal Short said.

Wednesday, crews with the county's Department of Emergency Management built a fence around the 35-foot-deep depression after seeing the rapid growth.

"The hole is still very unstable. It's still growing. The bottom has opened up dramatically. We can see the water table now. We can actually see the water table has a current. We see the water going back and forth in the bottom so out of caution we decided to put the fence up," Pasco County Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa said.

PREVIOUS: Road closed after deep hole opens near Walmart in New Port Richey

The county also ordered the Varsity Club Sports Bar to temporarily shutdown. The hole is just a few feet from some of the restaurant's outdoor seating.

"They were closed down for some of the pandemic, and now this, so it's pretty crazy," Short said.

The county doesn't know what caused the hole to open.

"A depression, an anomaly or whatever you want to call it, can open up anywhere. Heavy, heavy rain seasons are prone for depressions. Very, very dry season prone for depressions," Fossa said.