Sinkholes are forming in a shopping plaza parking lot in Bradenton and not much is being done about it.

Manatee County officials are going to step in before it gets worse.

At Cortez Plaza East, customers need to carefully navigate around sinkholes just to park.

“I’m not sure why these cars are parked so close there, apparently they don’t see that hole that’s right in front of them,” said longtime customer Rich Gross.

There are three sinkholes on the property, some dangerously close to businesses.

These sinkholes are not natural. A business owner told us they started forming roughly two years ago after attempts were made to fix a 40-year-old underground pipe system.

Obviously things didn’t go as planned, but the property owner has not fixed it.

Now the county is stepping up. A spokesperson says public works is working on a solution to present to county commissioners.

In the meantime, the property owner has been issued daily fines.

“I think they should have people stand a little further away from it to be honest. It seems a little unsafe to me, especially if people are walking to this business. I’ve seen sinkholes gobble up entire homes,” said one customer.

Managers of nearby businesses did not want to go on camera but they say they’ve heard nothing from the property owner.

In the meantime, they’re concerned these sinkholes could drive away visitors and hurt their bottom lines.

Longtime customers are hopeful this problem is stopped before it gets worse.

“I don’t know how you fix a sinkhole, but fix it!” said one woman.

Our attempts to get a comment from the property owner were unsuccessful.

Public works officials plan to brief county commissioners on possible solutions at a meeting on June 12.

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