Sinkhole repairs almost done, Mountain Parkway reopens

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POWELL/WOLFE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Both directions of the Mountain Parkway between exits 33 and 40 in Powell and Wolfe counties have reopened.

The reopening of the westbound lanes Friday is well in advance of the scheduled Oct. 31 date for restoration of traffic.

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Repairs to the sinkhole which developed near the Tunnel Ridge Road overpass at the county line have progressed to the point where both sides of the route can be reopened.

The westbound side was closed in late July after Transportation Cabinet engineers and geotechnical specialists determined the cause of a persistent pothole and pavement settling issue was a sinkhole that reached nearly 80 feet at its deepest point.

Traffic was maintained on the eastbound side, since it was deemed safe, but repairs were made to both carriageways of the four-lane divided route.

The eastbound lanes were closed for two weeks to allow them to be repaired. The westbound side required more work in order for the road to be safely reopened.

As the area remains an active work zone, drivers should slow down and use caution. Some lane closures may be necessary up until the scheduled completion date of Nov. 15.

Work began the last week of September on the emergency $1,091,845.38 repair contract, which was about half the $2 million estimate.

This section of the Mountain Parkway opened in 1963, and serves as the major transportation artery between eastern Kentucky and the Bluegrass region of the state. Drivers were forced to use a two-lane detour route while the freeway was closed.