Update – Sinkhole on I-81 in Rockbridge County

5/5/2011 – 2:00PM

The right lane has reopened on northbound Interstate 81 at mile marker 196.9 in Rockbridge County, which is the site of sinkhole repairs.   The left lane remains closed.   Crews on site anticipate it will be later this evening before all lanes are open.   Travelers should still expect significant delays in the area.   Backups have extended up to 15 miles.

The left lane was closed late afternoon on Wednesday following the discovery of the sinkhole in the median and left lane.   Both lanes were closed after midnight on Thursday. This location is between exit 195 at Route 710 in the Fairfield area and exit 213 at Route 11 in the Greenville area.

The sinkhole location is within the truck climbing lane project, just north of Lexington.

All lane reopening times are subject to change.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s on-call contractor for these repairs is General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton. VDOT and contractor crews have been working around the clock to fix the sinkhole. Pavement was cut away from the sinkhole area and excavation is complete. The sinkhole is currently being backfilled with stone and earth material to stabilize the hole. Once backfill is complete, the pavement will be applied to the area.

 

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5 May, 2011 @ 9:22

Both northbound lanes are closed for sinkhole repairs on Interstate 81 northbound at mile marker 196.9 in Rockbridge County. The left lane was closed late afternoon on Wednesday following the discovery of the sinkhole in the median and left lane. Both lanes were closed after midnight on Thursday. This location is between exit 195 at Route 710 in the Fairfield area and exit 213 at Route 11 in the Greenville area.

An updated detour has been implemented for the sinkhole repair work on Interstate 81 northbound in Rockbridge County.

Motorists will now be detoured at exit 195, travel north on Route 11 and reenter I-81 at exit 213.   Detour signs will be in place. Travelers should expect significant delays in this area.

The sinkhole location is within the truck climbing lane project, just north of Lexington.

Crews at the site anticipate that one lane could open by mid to late afternoon on Thursday and both lanes could be open by late Thursday evening. All lane reopening times are subject to change.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s on-call contractor for these repairs is General Excavation Inc. of Warrenton. VDOT and contractor crews have been working around the clock to fix the sinkhole. Pavement was cut away from the sinkhole area and excavation is complete. The sinkhole is currently being back filled with stone and earth material to stabilize the hole. Once back fill is complete, the pavement will be applied to the area.

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Previous Report

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.