MURRAY — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and the City of Murray are working on plans to repair a sinkhole along a frontage road just off U.S. 641 near the Shops at Murray shopping center across from Roy Stewart Stadium.
According to the KYTC, someone over the weekend reported what appeared to be a hole about the size of a volleyball in the pavement at an entrance to a frontage road off U.S. 641 near the Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Murray police responded to the site and determined there was a void beneath the pavement. The City of Murray public works department closed and barricaded the entrance pending further investigation.
Tuesday morning, KYTC engineers conducted a more detailed inspection of the hole and found it extended about 20 feet below the pavement surface with about a 40-foot diameter near the bottom. The sinkhole extends under the highway right of way and sidewalk near the northbound lanes of U.S. 641.
Further investigation of the area found that there is a major 36-inch diameter storm water drainage pipe about 18 feet beneath the frontage road that has been in place since before 1985. Engineers surmise that the drainage pipe may have a leak that allowed flowing storm water to create the sinkhole.
KYTC engineers have requested a Before You Dig survey of the area with plans to excavate around the drainage pipe starting as early as Wednesday. Once they dig into the sinkhole, engineers will have a better idea of the extent of repairs that may be required.
Motorists traveling U.S. 641 northbound should be alert for trucks entering and leaving the roadway at U.S. 641 mile point 8.5 just north of Chestnut Street in Murray. A northbound lane restriction may be required to facilitate the sinkhole excavation work.
Depending on what they find beneath the surface, KYTC and City of Murray crews may be working in this area most of the week.
Appropriate caution is required where equipment, flaggers, and construction personnel are along the roadway in close proximity to traffic.