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About a month after a sinkhole opened along U.S. Highway 60 in southeast Springfield, significant repair work is underway.
Repairs began Sept. 16, resulting in the closure of all westbound lanes from the U.S. Highway 65 interchange to the Glenstone Avenue/Republic Road interchange. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, work to fix Highway 60 will take place seven days per week until the repair is complete. Contractors have a tentative deadline of Sept. 29, according to MoDOT’s online traveler information map.
The sinkhole on the James River Freeway opened on Aug. 18, causing lane closures and traffic backups.
Aerial photographs of the sinkhole site taken on Sept. 18 show an uncharacteristically quiet Highway 60, with concrete and dirt for at least two driving lanes and the entire shoulder removed. The contracted work crews appeared to be trucking in loads of white stone to fill the sinkhole cavern.
Crews must excavate an area about 30 feet wide and 60 feet long to an unknown depth, until they hit solid bedrock to build upon. MoDOT engineers have not been able to provide an overall estimated cost for the repair project.
A sinkhole is a depression or cavern caused when carbonate bedrock dissolves and/or an underground cave collapses. Sinkholes are prominent in southwest Missouri because of the Ozarks’ karst topography — land and underground features including caves, springs and streams. Karst topography is commonly found in areas where limestone is a major underground rock type.
According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, there are more than 16,000 sinkholes in Missouri.