Sandy Myers 540-332-9201
Ken Slack 540-332-9264
May 4, 2011
SINKHOLE WILL CLOSE BOTH I-81 NORTHBOUND LANES IN ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY
STAUNTON – A sinkhole was discovered this afternoon along Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County. The sinkhole is located in the median and is encroaching into the left passing lane at mile marker 196.9. The left lane and left shoulder are currently closed. This location is between exit 195 at Route 710 in the Fairfield area and exit 200 at Route 606 in the Raphine area. It is within the truck climbing lane project, just north of Lexington. Crews are on-site to monitor the sinkhole. Both northbound lanes will be closed if conditions become unsafe.
Later tonight all northbound lanes in this location will close for repairs. It is unknown at this time how long the repairs will take but motorists should anticipate this closure to last for a significant portion of Thursday, May 5. Motorists will be detoured at exit 195, travel north on Route 11 and reenter I-81 at exit 200. Detour signs will be in place. Travelers should expect significant delays in this area.
The Virginia Department of Transportation’s on-call contractor for these repairs is General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton. As soon as the equipment can be mobilized and located at the sinkhole site, repair work can begin. Pavement will have to be cut away from the sinkhole area, then sinkhole will have to be excavated and filled with stone and earth material to stabilize the hole and then pavement will be applied to the area. This work can take hours depending on how deep the sinkhole is, which cannot be determined until excavation begins.
The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.
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