Not Again: DOT Monitoring Second Possible Sinkhole On Highway 42 East

Less than two weeks after a section of Highway 42 East of Clayton was closed for 12 hours while a sinkhole was repaired, the NC Department of Transportation is closely monitoring a second possible sinkhole a short distance away.

Drivers passing through the Highway 42 work zone were surprised Tuesday to find a new dip in the road just west of the one that shutdown the highway last month.

Engineers said the first sinkhole was caused after a tunnel was dug for an 84 inch steel drainage pipe that was installed under Highway 42 near Brookhaven Lane.  In the days that followed, a four inch dip developed under the road surface. The roadway was closed and traffic was diverted for 12 hours overnight June 20th until emergency repairs could be made.

According to Andrew Barksdale, Public Relations Officer for the NC DOT, “A small dip appears to be forming about 100 yards from the one we just fixed, and the cause would be for the same reason after we burrowed a tunnel underneath the two-lane roadway to install a larger and longer culvert. We are currently monitoring the dip, and we may have to do a similar pavement repair very soon. As of today, we don’t have any plans to repair it.”

In October 2018,  the NC DOT awarded a $58.7 million contract to widen 4.6 miles of Highway 42 from two to four lanes between Glen Laurel Road and Buffalo Road. The project is on schedule and is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

Photos by John Payne