A sinkhole caused by a broken water main on Peachtree Street continues to disrupt traffic in Buckhead on Tuesday.

The hole opened Monday in front of Sufi’s Kitchen restaurant and is less than a quarter-mile south of Collier Road, a heavily trafficked area that is also home to Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. Three lanes of Peachtree Street were closed, leaving crews to direct traffic through the two remaining lanes, one in each direction.

At about 4:45 p.m., Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management said the six-inch water main had been repaired and service had been restored to about 15 businesses in the area. However, officials said crews would continue to work to repair a stormwater drain affected by the sinkhole and that the same traffic control measures would remain in place with no timetable for their removal.

While Peachtree Street remains passable in both directions, the watershed department urged drivers to “use caution and avoid the area if possible.” Residents and businesses within the zone can still get to their homes and establishments, officials said, and mail, package delivery, emergency services and trash pickup will not be impacted.

Part of the sidewalk and street collapsed in front of Sufi’s at 1812 Peachtree Street, causing the Persian restaurant’s sign to fall over. The hole caused Sufi’s and its neighboring restaurant, R. Thomas Deluxe Grille, to close early Monday. The two restaurants share a driveway and parking lot.

Video from NewsChopper 2 showed water gushing from a broken pipe underground.

Restaurant employees were aware of the hole and anticipated the potential for a larger issue, R. Thomas’ executive chef, John Vo, told Channel 2 Action News. “I tried to get people out here to get it done. But every time we called the city, it took forever,” Vo told the news station.

By Tuesday afternoon, traffic continuously stacked up on Peachtree Street both north and south of the sinkhole. Sufi’s, R. Thomas and Bell Street Burritos remained closed, their parking lots blocked by official vehicles and construction equipment. Down the street, Mellow Mushroom was also closed, though some businesses on the gridlocked stretch remained open, including El Azteca and Starbucks.

Construction continued as normal at the Arthur M. Blank Family Housing Tower, a building that will provide housing for family members of patients at the Shepherd Center. Botica, a restaurant in a tower called the Brookwood next door just a few hundred feet from the sinkhole, was open for lunch after an earlier closure due to water being turned off in the area. The Brookwood, which also contains condos and offices, was accessible despite its proximity to the sinkhole.

An office tower called the MacQuarium Building, which is adjacent to the site of the sinkhole, was seriously affected. An employee at a dentist’s office in the building, who did not want to be named, said the water was shut off to the entire tower and they’d had to cancel all their appointments for the day.

She echoed others in the area who said they’d been aware of water issues weeks before the sinkhole’s collapse.

”A lot of us would go over to get lunch at Bell Street Burritos, and we’ve been seeing water in the street there for a long time,” she said. Property managers indicated that water service should be restored sometime Tuesday night, she said, but did not have any further information.

R. Thomas, once known for being open 24 hours a day, will remain closed Tuesday. Owner Linay Sheltra told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her team is “working tirelessly to fix this issue to have our doors open first thing (Wednesday) to serve our beloved guests.”

In June, a sinkhole 13 feet in diameter opened up and disrupted traffic for about 15 hours on Buford Highway in Brookhaven after a GDOT contractor struck the main water line while working on a sidewalk enhancement project, officials said. While the pipe was sealed off following the impact, the sinkhole developed due to the amount of water that had seeped under the road.

A large portion of Buford Highway was shut down following a road surface collapse in Brookhaven last May.

Credit: John Spink

icon to expand image

Credit: John Spink

The previous month, a massive sinkhole opened up along one of the most frequently traveled roads in Midtown Atlanta, swallowing an SUV and causing headaches for drivers over the course of two days. The cavity opened up on Ponce de Leon Avenue after a broken sewer pipe caused the surface to collapse. The road was immediately closed across several blocks.

A white SUV fell into a sinkhole in Midtown Atlanta in June.

Credit: Katelyn Myrick

icon to expand image

Credit: Katelyn Myrick

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. Watershed management described the culprit as a “breach” in the pipe about 15 to 18 feet below the surface.

Workers fill a huge chasm under Ponce de Leon Avenue in 1955. The cavity at Penn Avenue extended 42 1/2 feet below the street and was 25 feet in diameter.

Credit: Van Toole

icon to expand image

Credit: Van Toole

That stretch of Ponce de Leon was built on a landfill that was filled in by 1892, according to the Library of Congress. In the summer of 1955, workers were seen repairing a huge chasm in practically the same spot on Ponce at Penn Avenue that extended more than 42 feet below the street and 25 feet in diameter.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.