West Virginia police station is under threat from a massive sinkhole. The sinkhole, caused by a 90-year-old drain collapsing beneath the road, is motivating the building of a temporary bridge and a forthcoming $5 million permanent remedy.
What is a Sinkhole?
An area of the earth known as a sinkhole lacks external surface drainage. This implies that all the rainwater that falls stays inside the sinkhole and usually sinks into the ground.
Geologists refer to these areas as having “karst terrain,” where the varieties of rock under the surface may naturally be dissolved by groundwater flowing through them. Gypsum, limestone, and other carbonate rocks, along with salt domes and beds, are soluble rocks. For instance, Florida has a significant limestone subsurface prone to sinkholes.
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Sinkhole in West Virginia
According to CNN, a sizable sinkhole in Hinton, West Virginia, that threatens to swallow the town’s police station on Route 20 prompted state Division of Highways officials to dump fill material beneath the road and begin building a 120-foot bridge over the pit.
Joe Pack, chief engineer of district operations for the West Virginia Division of Highways, stated in a press statement on Friday, “We put it together like a huge Lego set.”
The sinkhole was reportedly 6 feet wide and 30 feet deep when it first formed in June. According to WVNS-TV, the police department relocated workers from the structure in July and anticipates that it will eventually need to be removed. Until the rains from Hurricane Nicole swept it all out earlier this month and made the sinkhole even wider, fill material had been an effective solution for under the road.
The building of a temporary bridge, which started on Saturday, is anticipated to take 24 to 48 hours. In the end, authorities will have to install a 300-foot steel replacement for the 90-year-old drain beneath the road that first triggered the collapse.
Because of the tough economy, some local schools were compelled to transfer their lessons online. According to David Warvel, the Summers County superintendent of schools, every student in grades six through twelve attended class virtually the entire previous week.
When the bridge is constructed, in-person instruction will resume; however, the permanent steel drainage structure is proving to be a more challenging problem. According to state senator Stephen Baldwin, the state will shortly begin inviting bids for a contract for its construction.
Baldwin posted on Facebook, “A long term repair has been discovered and will be put out to bid ASAP.” It will set you back about $5 million. The state will cover it.”
The eastern part of West Virginia, which includes Summers County, is said to be comprised of karst topography, which is vulnerable to sinkholes because of its porous limestone material and several other soluble rock formations.
According to the United States Geological Survey, sinkholes are often brought on by the acidic groundwater dissolving the limestone and other soluble rocks such as salt beds, domes, gypsum, and different carbonate rocks, which causes the earth to give way.
As things stand, building on the bridge should be finished by the end of the day on Monday, and work will shortly begin on a more permanent solution.
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