A massive sinkhole opened up along one of the most frequently traveled roads in Midtown Atlanta this week, swallowing an SUV and causing headaches for drivers over the course of two days.

Officials raced to fix and seal the cavity, which opened up Tuesday afternoon on Ponce de Leon Avenue after a broken sewer pipe caused the surface to collapse. The road was immediately closed across several blocks.

“I am in close touch with all of our teams,” Mayor Andre Dickens wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for cooperating to avoid this area during rush hour (Tuesday) and tonight.”

Atlanta police said they received a call just before 2:15 p.m. Tuesday about a vehicle that fell into the hole just east of Piedmont Avenue. Photos showed the front of the white Ford Expedition tilted diagonally inside the hole. Only its rear tires remained on a level surface.

According to Channel 2 Action News, the driver was trying to make a right turn when the vehicle fell in. He managed to climb out of the driver’s-side window, while his wife escaped out of a back door, the Cartersville couple told the news station.

Two tow trucks were needed to remove the Expedition, which had a badly damaged right-front tire and significant front-end damage. No injuries were reported, police said.

The city’s department of watershed management described the culprit as a “breach” in the pipe about 15 to 18 feet below the surface.

Traffic was immediately halted between Myrtle Street and Argonne Avenue as crews worked throughout Tuesday and Wednesday excavating and making repairs. A spokesperson for the department said there was no estimated time of completion.

The hole, located in front of Torched Hop Brewery and across the street from Mary Mac’s Tea Room, appeared to be about 5 feet deep and roughly 10 feet across.

“We’re planning on opening at 4 p.m. (Wednesday) unless the sinkhole swallows our building as well,” Torched Hop joked on its Instagram account.

By Wednesday morning, traffic had opened up some but the scene was still very active. Repairs continued in the afternoon amid rising summer temperatures as workers continued to dig out dirt from the hole.

That stretch of Ponce de Leon Avenue was built on a landfill that was filled in by 1892, according to the Library of Congress.

This detail from a Bird's Eye View print of Atlanta from 1892 shows that the blocks of Ponce de Leon Avenue between Myrtle Street and Argonne Avenue were once a ravine that was filled in with dirt.

Credit: Library of Congress

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Credit: Library of Congress

Nearly 68 years ago, workers attempted to fix a sinkhole in practically the exact same spot as Tuesday. In the summer of 1955, they were seen repairing a huge chasm on Ponce at Penn Avenue that extended more than 42 feet below the street and 25 feet in diameter. A photo showed the A&P Market building in the background, which is now Boogalou Restaurant & Lounge, located next to Torched Hop.

Original caption from August 1955: Workers move in to fill a huge chasm under Ponce de Leon Ave. The cavity at Penn Avenue extends 42 1/2 feet below the street and is 25 feet in diameter.

Credit: Van Toole

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Credit: Van Toole

In Brookhaven last month, another road surface collapse shut down a large portion of Buford Highway. That sinkhole, which was 13 feet in diameter, was reported in the northbound lanes after a Georgia Department of Transportation contractor struck the main water line while working on a sidewalk enhancement project. Officials said water then seeped under the road.

— Presentation specialist Pete Corson contributed to this article.