Pipework to begin at sinkhole

Published 11:19 am Friday, December 9, 2016

The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin work to replace the 66-inch pipe under U.S. Route 58 on Thursday, Dec. 15. The pipe was damaged during Hurricane Matthew, which resulted in a sinkhole opening in the middle of the road on Oct. 11.

The sinkhole was filled and temporarily patched at the time, but now VDOT plans to implement a more permanent solution. As a result, U.S. 58 will be reduced to one lane in each direction near the work zone for at least eight weeks, with all work being dependent on weather conditions.

The work will require the closure of both travel lanes on U.S. 58 east between the Pretlow Street Bridge and the Suffolk city line at the Blackwater Bridge. To maintain one lane in each direction, eastbound traffic will be shifted over to the median to U.S. 58 west, reducing the four-lane divided highway to a two-lane undivided highway.

VDOT urges all motorists to use extreme caution during the traffic shift. A barrier wall will be installed, allowing crews to work safely on the eastbound lanes. The speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour in the work zone during the repair.

VDOT advises motorists to plan their commutes by using VDOT’s free traffic information tools, the 511 smartphone app, the 511Virginia website, dialing 511, listening to highway advisory radio 1680 AM, or calling the traffic line at 361-3016.