TDOT says no caves beneath Mount Carmel 11-W sinkhole location

Jeff Bobo • Apr 20, 2020 at 8:00 PM

MOUNT CARMEL — Westbound traffic on Highway 11-W in Mount Carmel was back to two lanes Monday evening after TDOT geotechnical engineers determined there are no caves causing sinkholes.

Earlier this month, a sinkhole occurred in the westbound right lane of Highway 11-W between Independence Avenue and Hammond Avenue.

The hole was repaired by a TDOT crew on April 8, but this past Friday evening the patch began settling and the lane was closed again through the weekend. On Monday, TDOT sent geotechnical engineers to that location to do some exploration with a drill rig.

TDOT spokesman Mark Nagi told the Times News on Monday that no caves were discovered.

“They hit rock at the same elevation as they did last week,” Nagi said. “Our geotechnical engineers finished their examination. (Engineers) believe it was just new material settlement with the existing rock.”

Nagi added, “We are going to lay down more asphalt and place more rocks on the ditch line. All lanes are expected to be open by close of business (Monday).”

Sinkholes have been an ongoing problem in the area for years, although usually they’re on nearby Main Street, which parallels the highway.

The last time a sinkhole appeared in that area was in July 2017 on Main Street directly above the location of Tuesday’s sinkhole.

Before that, one occurred in 2012 in that same spot on Main Street, although the problem extends south across 11-W, where the eastbound lane guardrail has had a distinct dip for years.

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