Sinkhole Repair On I-24 Will Take Several Days - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Sinkhole Repair On I-24 Will Take Several Days

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Aerial image from Sky5 HD Aerial image from Sky5 HD
Image from my5 submitter Cynthia Marshall Image from my5 submitter Cynthia Marshall

GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. – A 13-mile stretch of eastbound Interstate 24 will be shut down for several days in Grundy County after a large sinkhole opened up in the roadway.

The sinkhole was first reported around 7 a.m. near the exit for State Route 50, just north of Monteagle, apparently opening up after severe storms in the area.

The hole was about 40 feet long and 25 feet deep. Pavement from the left shoulder to the right lane of the highway collapsed into the hole.
 PHOTOS: I-24 Sinkhole In Grundy County

Julie Oaks with the Tennessee Department of Transportation said the driver of a tractor trailer swerved to the right to miss the sinkhole, lost control and went off the road into the median.

A TDOT worker happened to be driving behind the truck and saw what happened. Oaks said the worker was able to warn other drivers and keep them from driving into the crater.

Officials with TDOT said the sinkhole appeared to be growing. Sky 5 video showed large chunks of dirt falling into the crater.

Geo-technical engineers were called to the scene to survey the damage.

Eastbound lanes were completely shut down. Traffic was being diverted onto Highway 41 at exit 114 and re-entering at mile marker 127.

Westbound lanes have been affected with rubbernecking delays.

Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol were on the scene to help direct traffic.

TDOT hopes to have the interstate opened by the end of the weekend, but admitted that timeline was very ambitious.

Oaks said Tennessee's record rainfall and flooding was to blame for the sinkhole. TDOT officials have been bracing for more sinkholes around the state.

Drivers should report sinkholes or eroding ground on or near the interstates and state highways by calling 877-SmartWay or 877-762-7892.

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