Sinkhole closes lane of traffic in Tennessee

A sinkhole caused by heavy summer rains created voids beneath the surface of a highway in Tennessee. But once called in by a motorist, the I-24 sinkhole grew rapidly from shallow depression to a hole that took a day's work to fix.  

Wayne Thomas/The Tullahoma News/AP/File
This Tennessee sinkhole between Chattanooga and Nashville closed all eastbound traffic in 2010. On Tuesday, highway officials had to fix an I-24 sinkhole that closed one lane near Clarksville.

[Editor's note: The headline and subhead of an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified the highway where the sinkhole occurred. It is I-24, not I-80.]

A state transportation spokeswoman said a sinkhole along Interstate 24 was just a shallow depression when a motorist near Clarksville reported it.

By the time a Tennessee Department of Transportation crew got heavy equipment to the site, the hole required a day's work to excavate, examine and fill in. One eastbound lane of I-24 was closed most of Tuesday while the work was done.

TDOT spokeswoman Deanna Lambert told The Leaf-Chronicle (http://leafne.ws/19Jnscs ) heavy rains during most of the summer have created voids beneath the surface. In this case, the hole was at the edge of the highway.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday that Clarksville has had 3.21 inches of rain so far in August — one-tenth inch more than the city usually gets in the entire month.

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