Sinkhole Problems Frustrate Motorists

Knoxville (WVLT) - Driving is tight on a stretch of Pellissippi Parkway.

TDOT has closed the left south-bound lane of the parkway, just south of the Oak Ridge Highway interchange.

We know this isn't the first time TDOT's had issues with this sinkhole.

This same lane was closed last week and back in May for the same problem, a sinkhole.

Monday, TDOT engineers have decided to use pressure grouting to fill the voids.

They'll use an emergency contract to get it done within the next few days.

This slows down some motorists in that area, wondering why the sinkhole can't seem to be fixed.

"I've been going back and forth everyday for the last three years,” Steve Payne says he's never seen this much trouble on one stretch of road before.

"They've tried to do some investigation to see what's causing it. I don't know if that's going to fix the problem or not."

The problem began here on Pellissippi Parkway back in May when a 30 foot deep sink hole opened up. TDOT crews were able to repair the hole by filling it with 720 tons of rock and 40 yards of concrete. But this weekend the sinkhole opened back up again.

"I just think it's a little ridiculous it takes this long to get something like that fixed when they should've had it fixed the first time,” says motorist Ryan Kennedy.

"Is it going to appear there next week,” questions Steve Maughan. “Just how big is this thing?"

Many drivers say they worry about their safety now every time they cross over the partially patched sinkhole.

"You wonder, ‘Gee, is it going to fall in on me here? Am I going to end up in the bottom of the road?’" says Payne.

"It scared me the other day going over it, because I know when it was there a while ago, and just to feel that bump, you never know what's going to happen,” Kennedy says.

"Surely it won't fall in again, and then again it might,” says June Newport.

TDOT is hoping the pressure grouting plan will soon do the trick.

"I'm beginning to think they need to build a bridge across it, as much trouble as they're having with it,” Payne says.

"Something needs to be done. Just get it completely filled in,” Kennedy says.

In the meantime, motorists are forced to slow down and squeeze through one lane.

"It's a nuisance, of course, for people who have to get to work on time,” says Newport.

"It'll just mean more time spent on the road, more frustration, more aggravation,” adds Payne.

TDOT urges drivers coming into Knox County from Oak Ridge to plan an alternate route.

TDOT says this pressure grouting procedure has a high success rate, but they're not sure exactly how long it will take.

We'll continue to update you on the progress as it develops.

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