UPDATE: Sinkhole grows larger as crews work to fill it in

By Jamel Major - bio | email

  • UPDATE:  TDOT said they are finished with repairs of the sinkhole.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A massive sinkhole in the middle of one of the Mid-South's busiest roads grew larger Thursday, even as road crews began the tedious task of filling it in.

Tennessee Department of Transportation workers arrived at the scene on I-240 east near Walnut Grove early Thursday morning with extra equipment.

"We have our equipment that's moving in and out, trying to bring material in and push the material in the hole," TDOT spokesperson Nichol Lawrence said.

Road crews had to shut down three lanes of the highway as they began filling the massive hole.

Click here to see raw video of the massive sinkhole recorded by Chopper 5.

"Once we get it filled up with the big rock, we'll put the smaller rock on top and hopefully pave it," Lawrence said.

Crews kept their eyes to the sky, hoping the weather would cooperate as they worked to fill the hole.  Lawrence said repair time would be lengthy.

"It's probably going to be in the morning after rush hour," she said.

The huge patch of pavement in the center left lane of I-240 near Walnut Grove collapsed Wednesday afternoon.  TDOT crews had actually done work on it earlier in the day, when it was just a small pothole.

But the dirt that should have been supporting the pavement turned to mud due to an underground leak, and quickly collapsed.

"Almost three or four yesterday afternoon they received a call the pothole had now sunken in," Lawrence said. "We had a two foot by six foot deep hole in the middle of the road."

The hole caused lots of headaches for drivers, but officials said there are no reports of any serious injuries.  

"Sometimes we just have to have patience for the inconveniences," Lawrence said. "This is going to open back up and it's going to be like it never happened."

Several cars were reportedly damaged by the sinkhole before crews were able to block off the road.  TDOT officials say those drivers can contact the division of claims to fill out a claim form.

Thursday evening, TDOT announced they had complete with the repairs of the sinkhole.  All lanes are currently open to traffic.

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