That sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum that ate eight Corvettes in February, revving up whopping increases in visitors and sales at the venue, will be filled in this winter.
The Bowling Green, Ky., museum’s board of directors had kept that option open in an earlier vote to leave the sinkhole open. But the extra cost and the possibility of harm from humidity from the gaping hole in the ground – caves run off two sides of it – changed their minds.
Scott, Murphy & Daniel LLC, the Bowling Green contractor that has been on site since the hole opened, is still finalizing bids for the fill-in and rebuild, but the cost should run in the $3 million to $4 million range, said Mike Murphy, CEO.
Leaving the hole open – it is 40 ft wide and 80 ft deep -- would cost another $1 million for retaining walls in the sinkhole and structural additions to the building.
Work will start in mid-November to fill the hole, including moving equipment and materials through the 10.5-ft high, 14-ft wide opening that was cut in the exterior wall.
“We have to think about what equipment we utilize and how to get material in and out of the building,” Murphy says. He will use the same cranes used for the car removal.
The plan is to install sheet piling around the sinkhole diameter, using a vibratory hammer and hydraulic crane to drive the sheets, he says. That hole will be filled with 4 tons of crushed stone.
The next step will be to remove the remaining concrete floor in the circular Skydome and drill an additional 46 micro piles in both the former hole and the present floor area to provide additional support, he says.
The micro piles will have a capacity of 50 to 100 kips, and will be integrated into the structural slab, says Zach Massey, project manager.