Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) workers at a sinkhole on James River Freeway. All westbound lanes were opened Sept. 21. (Photo provided by MoDOT)

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All westbound lanes of James River Freeway are open between U.S. Route 65 and Glenstone Avenue as of 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, according to a Missouri Department of Transportation release, following repair work after a sinkhole opened about a month ago.

Both U.S. Route 65 ramps to westbound James River Freeway opened at the same time Sept. 21, according to the release. There will be possible traffic delays the evening of Sept. 24, as workers install permanent pavement striping.

After a massive sinkhole opened on the freeway Aug. 18, causing emergency repair work resulting in lane closures and traffic backups, crews began permanent repairs Sept. 16.

The crews finished excavation work by noon on Sept. 17 and then began repair work, Brad Gripka, resident engineer at MoDOT, said in a phone interview.

While MoDOT does not have a final cost for the repairs, Gripka said the department estimated it would be more than $100,000. The sinkhole was about 40 feet long, 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide at its widest point, he said.

“It was kind of an emergency,” Gripka said. “Some of the crews were on overtime. So, yes, it will be costly.”

The department will know the total cost sometime next week, he said.

MoDOT crews work to repair a sinkhole on James River Freeway. The sinkhole was about a decade old and has been capped before, MoDOT said. (Photo provided by MoDOT)

The sinkhole was actually about a decade old and had been capped with concrete before, Gripka said. Water eroded the concrete cap on the hole, allowing it to open up more underneath previous repair efforts, he said.

It’s not the only sinkhole in the area, Gripka said. There is a total of three in that area that the department are aware of, but “they’re always in a ditch line and never have they opened up.”

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Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins is the business and economic development reporter for the Springfield Daily Citizen. Collins graduated from Glendale High School in 2011 before studying journalism and economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked for Bloomberg News. Contact him at (417) 849-2570 or rcollins@sgfcitizen.org. More by Ryan Collins