An I-80 sinkhole was just thought to be a “shallow depression” earlier this summer 2013, but soon escalated to a very real sinkhole that continued growing and came dangerously close to obstructing a Tenn. highway. The widening sinkhole near Interstate 24 caused serious delays in traffic and construction this week, the CS Monitor reported this Friday, Aug. 23, before finally being filled.
The I-80 sinkhole was simply called by one state transportation spokeswoman as a “shallow depression” near Interstate 24 this year, but when a motorist by Clarksville called it in this week, it had grown into something bigger. Fortunately, it's since been filled in and will soon no longer be a threat to drivers on the road.
It wasn’t until a team from the Tenn. State Dept. of Transportation brought industrial equipment to the site of the fissure that the actual size of the I-80 sinkhole was brought to light. According to this weekend’s reports, the widening gap took over a day’s work to begin excavating, examining the area, and begin filling it in to protect future motorists. One of the eastbound lanes of I-24 was temporarily closed for parts of the week until the work could be completed.
A State Dept. of Transportation spokeswoman revealed this week that a factor in this “shallow depression” becoming a threatening sinkhole may be the torrential level rains. The heavy rains this summer 2013 are thought to have led to expanding voids underneath the earth’s surface. This particular void was formed near the edge of the highway, said the spokeswoman, who added that it needed to be filled as soon as possible to protect motorists’ safety.
It was the National Weather Service that added on Wednesday in the Tenn. area that the locale had over 3 inches of rain this month, which stands as more than Clarksville normally receives in over the whole month.
In addition to the I-80 sinkhole, a sinkhole that swallowed a tree in the swamplands of Louisiana also made headlines this week.