West Virginia Division of Highways crews from across the state worked in Hinton over the weekend to construct a temporary bridge. It’s the second temporary solution to a large sinkhole that formed more than four months ago.
The bridge “kit” was prefabricated and put together beside the sinkhole on state Route 20.
The bridge is temporary until a permanent, 300-foot steel drainage structure under the road can be installed. The division hopes to put the permanent repair out for bid by late next month.
Earlier repair plans were halted after crews found toxic levels of lead on site. The department of highways plans to install a 300-foot steel drainage structure.
The sinkhole appeared in June in front of the Hinton Police station after a 90-year-old drain under the road failed. The sinkhole is unlike any other, with a very fine ash material washing away beneath both a police station and the roadway itself.
Crews worked over the summer to install a temporary culvert and fill material under the road. This worked until heavy rains washed out the material and made the sinkhole larger.
Route 20 in Hinton was reopened to traffic on Sunday, Nov. 20.