ROCKLAND, Maine — What used to be a 65-foot-deep sinkhole on Old County Road has been reworked, filled in with stone and will be open again by Friday, according to state Department of Transportation officials.
Mike Burns, DOT acting director of maintenance and operations, said Wednesday he had expected the hole to be filled and finished around the end of March. Despite the strong rainstorms in the area, “I’d say we’re on schedule.”
In addition to the rains, the crews also had to carve out more unstable earth around the hole than they expected.
“We had enough rain to deal with, but we also had more work to be done than we estimated. It took a little longer, but it went quite well,” Burns said.
Old County Road was built over a tunnel between two old limestone quarries. That tunnel collapsed in the course of a few hours on Feb. 15 when the supporting structure over the tunnel let go.
To get work vehicles safely in and out of the 65-foot-deep hole, the crews had to make the earth slope gradually into the fissure. Doing this on three sides of the affected area took longer than expected, Burns said.
This is not the end of the work for DOT. Because it is still early spring, the crews cannot pave the road. Instead, they will lay either gravel or recycled asphalt on top of the area. Crews will have to come back in late spring to pave the road,” Burns said.
The cost to DOT to fix the sinkhole was about $250,000.