Engineers on Saturday surveyed the scene and said a 60-year-old, 40-foot deep brick inlet appeared to have failed, causing the 10-foot deep, 30-foot long and 20-foot wide sinkhole.
After stabilization work is done, one northbound lane will reopen and one lane will remain closed until a long-term fix can be made.
The National Park Service said it hopes to have one northbound lane open for the Monday morning rush hour. The rain expected throughout the weekend, however, may slow the work and delay that opening.
Engineers and experts from the Federal Highway Administration will work on a long-term fix over the coming weeks, but said it may be much more complex and take some time.
“Construction on a more permanent solution will likely require both lanes to be closed,” NPS said in a Saturday news release. “Engineers are actively monitoring the situation and additional closures may be necessary for safety as conditions evolve.”
The northbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway, between Virginia state Route 123 and the entrance to the Capital Beltway, near exit 43, have been closed since about 6:45 p.m. on Friday,
The closure affects about five miles of roadway. The closure does not affect the parkway’s southbound lanes.
Northbound George Washington Parkway closed VA 123 to I-495 due to a sinkhole near Dead Run. @USDOTFHWA Engineers will conduct full assessment in the daylight Saturday. Unknown when the northbound lanes will reopen. Check https://t.co/TrUCMJ5foa for updates. #VaTraffic pic.twitter.com/cMW4oWP7bi
— Jenny A-S NPS (@NPSJennyAS) May 11, 2019
The NPS said in its statement that no accidents have been reported and “closing the George Washington Parkway is never a decision that is made lightly.
Large sinkhole on northbound George Washington Parkway has road closed til further notice. Engineers will examine damage this morning and eventually repair, says @NPSJennyAS. Stay w @WTOPtraffic for latest. pic.twitter.com/QczhueHtAK
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) May 11, 2019
A sinkhole developed in the same area, near Dead Run, in March. That sinkhole opened up underneath the road following heavy rain.
The March sinkhole was about 10 feet deep, 12 feet wide and 30 feet long — or roughly the size of a city bus, according to preliminary findings by the NPS.
For more information, drivers can check the National Park Service website.
Here’s the area where road crews are investigating the possible sinkhole.
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