Jessica Lilly Published

Second Temporary Sinkhole Solution Planned In Summers County


After months of trouble with a sinkhole in Summers County, the West Virginia Division of Highways plans to build a temporary bridge.

DOH crews will build the bridge so traffic can return on state Route 20 in Hinton. The temporary structure will be built beginning Friday, Nov. 18. The process includes attaching several bolts individually.

The bridge will sit above the sinkhole until permanent repairs to a collapsed drainage pipe can be made.

The sinkhole appeared in June in front of the Hinton Police station when a 90-year-old drain under the road failed.

Crews worked over the summer to install a temporary culvert and fill material under the road. This worked until heavy rains from Hurricane Nicole washed out the material on Friday, Nov. 11. This made the sinkhole larger.

Permanent construction plans were also halted after crews found toxic levels of lead on site. The department of highways plans to install a 300-foot steel drainage structure.

Crews from the WVDOH central office in Charleston, District 9, and District 10 will start work this weekend. The 125-foot bridge will be long enough to span the existing hole, even if the hole gets bigger before contractors can replace the collapsed drainage structure.

The detour during construction will be WV 3 (Hinton to Shady Spring), US 19 (Shady Spring to Beaver), WV 307 (Beaver to Airport Road), Interstate 64 (Airport Road to Sandstone), and WV 20 (Sandstone to Hinton).

While construction plans for a permanent repair have been hampered by the discovery of toxic levels of lead on site, Pack said WVDOH has come up with an alternate plan to fix the sinkhole without endangering the public, contractors or WVDOH work crews.

Pack said the WVDOH intends to complete plans to install a 300-foot steel drainage structure under the area and put a contract out to bid by the end of the year.