Georgia DOT crews continue to work on a plan to repair the major sinkhole that opened up under SR51/Reed Creek Highway this week.
“On Tuesday, divers went in to Lake Hartwell to look at the drainage pipes underneath SR 51 to assess the damage to and determine the root cause for the sinkhole. Lake Hartwell borders SR 51 on both sides,” said GDOT spokesperson Teri Pope.
The sinkhole, near Boat Road, is approximately 20 feet deep, 15 feet long and 8 feet wide and takes up the entire northbound lane. Under the pavement is a 10-foot high galvanized metal culvert that was put in about 50 years ago. Authorities believe that culvert pipe may have collapsed after years of deterioration.
G-DOT spokesperson Teri Pope says after examining the sinkhole, crews have decided to call in an outside contractor.
“We will hire a contractor to complete the repairs on SR 51,” Pope said. “The repairs will be quite complex because of the proximity of Lake Hartwell to the roadway and the pressures that amount of water puts on the road’s drainage system. Right now, we are still working to determine the full extent of the damage and develop a repair plan.”
Pope said crews continue to work to determine the full extent of the damage. So far, there is no estimated time frame for the repairs except to say the work will some time to complete.
” We do not have an estimated time frame for the repairs except to say the work will take several weeks at least. As we get more details, we will share them with you,” she said.
Meantime, motorists are being detoured around the sinkhole by taking Boat Road to Parham Road to Mt. Hebron Road, which leads back to Reed Creek Highway.