The Maryland Department of Transportation finished up emergency repairs to a large sinkhole that formed on the southbound portion of Interstate 270 in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Friday, just in time for Fourth of July weekend travel.
Department officials completed the necessary repairs in two weeks, reopening all impacted lanes on July 1.
Repairs, which were expected to stretch into the Fourth of July weekend are not completely finished — the right shoulder will remain closed since more roadwork needs to be finished after July 4. In a press release, MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. said that the return to a normal level of service for Montgomery County residents is worthwhile.
“Most people weren’t aware of the enormity of the problem caused by this failed pipe and collapsed roadway,” Ports said.
Officials said a small hole began to form on the roadway, creating a “dangerous and unstable 20-foot by 15-foot by 12-foot cavern beneath the surface.” That sinkhole was impacted by rain, with additional damage to the infrastructure and ground in the area.
“The pipe failure presented a major challenge to MDOT SHA due to the significant erosion and loss of soil under the right travel lanes on southbound I-270,” the department said.
The final total cost of the emergency repair was $425,000 and was handled by Concrete General of Gaithersburg.