For the best viewing experience, we ask that you please upgrade your version of Macromedia's Flash Player to version 7. You can download that here.


June 22. 2005 6:01AM



e-mail this

subscribe to us

Want to interact? Download Flash Player 7
TRENTON - Department of Transportation officials got a way-too-familiar phone call on Tuesday.

Another suspected sinkhole was reported along a North Florida highway.

The latest highway to develop what appeared to be a sinkhole is State Road 26 between Trenton and Fanning Springs, near Lancaster Correctional Institution. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area at least for today until testing can be completed and decisions made on what may need to be done. But there are no lane closures as of Tuesday night.

The DOT has become quite familiar with the process because of the number of roadway sinkholes in recent months.

In May, a routine inspection of Interstate 75 turned up a sinkhole on the outside emergency northbound lane near the NW 39th Avenue overpass. It was about 15 feet wide and more than 70 feet deep and cost about $83,000 to repair.

At the end of April, what initially looked like a pothole on SW 34th Street west of the University of Florida's Maguire Village turned out to be a sinkhole that required lane closures until it could be repaired.

During late March, a section of southbound I-75 near Alachua was closed for more than a week, forcing lane closures that snarled traffic for miles.

The sinkhole that made headlines nationwide was the one that opened up in early March in Columbia County and drained millions of gallons of water from a pond and forced dozens from their homes on Pinemount Road. That sinkhole was estimated to be 150 feet wide, 275 feet long and about 50 feet deep and was one of several that were discovered in Columbia County.

The latest area where a depression is suspected of being a sinkhole is about 3 feet wide on the westbound shoulder of SR 26 near the prison for youthful offenders. It was discovered by employees of Anderson-Columbia, the Lake City firm contracted to resurface seven miles of the highway for $2.19 million this summer.

"This (westbound) lane had been repaved and when the contractor went out there Tuesday and saw it slumping - the pavement drooping down - they called in the geotechnical experts," said DOT spokeswoman Gina Busscher.

Binay Prakash, the geotechnical engineer for the DOT in North Florida, was dispatched to the site and agreed with Anderson-Columbia officials that test borings were needed to determine the size of what is believed to be a large, as yet-unseen underground part of the sinkhole.

"This looks like what happened on U.S. 41 north of Newberry earlier this year and that resulted in lane closures for about three weeks because it was under the road," Busscher said.

The area has a recent history of developing sinkholes, according to Gilchrist County Sheriff David Turner.

"They had two pretty good size ones open up out there by the prison during the (2004) hurricanes," Turner said.

Because the area with the latest suspected sinkhole was being worked on under a construction contract, Busscher said the contractor will make the arrangements and pay to have the sinkhole repaired - probably with grout - and the DOT will compensate the contractor for the expenses.


  1. Gators' win leads to title bid
  2. Honor of anti-gay crusader draws fire
  3. It's 39-feet deep, 5-feet wide and causes a 4.5-mile detour
  4. UF professor named top woman veterinarian
  5. 'Renaissance' OK'd at Kennedy Homes site
  6. State Democratic Party is 'pathetic,' Bush says

florida top jobs
Employment ads from our newspaper> ACCT. REPS. YOU BE THE JUDGE REPS EARN $50-$150k

Humana MarketPOINT, a
rtune 200 Company, is looking for Representatives to sell Medicare

Receptionist FULL TIME
edical receptionist for busy Gainesville practice M-Thur 10am-7pm,

DATA ENTRY Work from
e. Flexible Hours! $$$ Great Pay! $$$ Personal Computer req'd. 1-800-