Sinkhole repairs at National Corvette Museum underway - WKRN News 2

Sinkhole repairs at National Corvette Museum underway

Posted: Updated: Feb 14, 2014 12:45 PM CST

Repairs to the Sky Dome at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky are underway Friday, two days after a giant sinkhole opened up, swallowing eight classic corvettes.

The sinkhole, estimated at 40 feet wide and 30 feet deep, caused millions of dollars in damage and shocked car enthusiasts across the globe.

"It's almost like losing one of your kids. I don't mean to take it that far, but if you enjoy cars, Corvettes are something special," said museum member Dave Doezie, who has owned 15 Corvettes over the years

He received an email about the disaster Wednesday.

"It made me sick to see those cars go down, it's not a good deal," Doezie said.

Motion detectors alerted security that something was wrong shortly after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Museum officials said the building foundation and structure are in good condition, but the Sky Dome still has a long road to recovery.

Engineers spent Friday studying cracks on the museum floor.

"There's been some growth to them and that doesn't bother us, because there's nothing under there," explained project engineer Dennis Smith.

The sinkhole appears to have shifted slightly and some dirt underneath the concrete floor has dropped some two feet, according to one engineer working the project.

"What we're doing now is precision control in here to monitor the building, to see if the building is moving. We've been monitoring the center spire since the collapse Wednesday morning. We've only noticed minute movements," said Smith.

Engineers told News 2 they believe they have the hole stabilized to where it will not grow any larger.

The general project engineer said he has seen similar sinkhole calls similar but not one where they've needed to retrieve something like eight classic Corvettes.

Bowling Green firefighters are on standby, ready to rappel into the hole should someone fall.
Crews will spend up to three weeks stabilizing and securing the area before the process of vehicle recovery can begin.

Murphy told News 2 he believe the retrieval of the cars will begin in the next 10 days.

It will take four to six days to retrieve the vehicles. After that, they will replace the floor system.

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