UPDATE: Sinkhole under Red Arrow Highway to be filled for holida - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Sinkhole under Red Arrow Highway to be filled for holiday weekend

Posted:
Memorial Day travelers shouldn't have to deal with a major roadblock discovered Wednesday night on Red Arrow Highway in Berrien County. A firefighter from Chikaming Township spotted a suspicious bump in the road that turned out to be a 8 to 12 foot deep sinkhole. 

The Berrien County Road Commission began working with police since 8:00pm on Wednesday to block the highway, and address the problem. Superintendent of the Road Commission, Don Geisler, says the most likely cause for the hole is a 38 foot deep culvert under the road. He believes it was built around 1930. Now, the cement is giving way to rain, sand, and other pressure.

He says the procedure for a sinkhole of this nature is to cut the top of the road off and search for voids in the culvert. The Road Commission places soil fabric at the bottom of the hole, then fills and compacts the hole with sand and gravel. Geisler says Red Arrow Highway will be open for travel by the end of the day Thursday, and won't disrupt holiday travel.

The gravel won't be paved over until next week so the Road Commission has more time to search for other potential voids in the culvert. If someone had not spotted the sinkhole, Geisler says consequences could have been disastrous.

"Worst case scenario, a car could fall through, [or] a semi. It was about 8 to 12 foot deep. It could have been disastrous for somebody driving 55 miles an hour down this road."

If you see a suspicious dip or crack in a road, Geisler says you should call 911, because police can respond at all hours to block the road before the Road Commission can. 
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