State DOT in Initial Stages of Engineering to Address Huge Sinkhole Between Burger King, Johnson Avenue

By Jeff Toquinto on September 25, 2023 via

When massive rainstorms hit Bridgeport on back-to-back days in late August, there was plenty of damage to residents and businesses. Nearly a month later, it is probably safe to assume some are still dealing with the aftermath of the torrential inches of rain that fell in just a few hours.
There is also a problem the West Virginia Department of Transportation and Division of Highways is dealing with that you may have noticed. And it is a significant one in an area where there was a significant one prior.
A massive sinkhole has formed in the property that sits between the area of Johnson Avenue near its intersection with Barnett Run Road and Burger King. Jake Flatley. a Transportation Public Information Specialist with the WVDOT, confirmed the sinkhole formed following the storms August 28 and 29.
If that sounds familiar it should. It was 10 years to the day, August 28 of 2013, that a sinkhole formed in the Burger King parking lot after a massive rain event laid waste to a pipe handling water that was situated under that business’ parking lot.
Flatley said he talked with Aaron Stevens, WVDOH District Four Maintenance Engineer, and was told the two days of heavy rain were not the only culprit.
“It has been determined that the storms and condition of the pipe were the two causes of the failure,” wrote Flatley in an email response to multiple questions submitted by Connect-Bridgeport.
As for the cost to fix it and a timeline, those questions Flatley said "an estimated cost and completion of a proper repair, including stabilization of roadway and replacement of the pipe, has not yet been determined."
There was no answer made regarding a Burger King employee stating they had been cause closures along Barnett Run Road, beside the road itself, and the entrance to at least their business, which also is the access point to Mahindra. There was also no confirmation about some of the businesses being without power for at least one day during the ongoing work.
It should be noted that Flatley and the WVDOH, as indicated in one response, likely do not know precise answers at this point. Work is currently being done by an unconfirmed contractor, although a GeoStablization International Truck has been on site. They are a geohazard mitigation company based out of Colorado.
Due to the emergency situation, estimates and scope of the project are still likely being worked out. Flatley alluded to that in his email response.
“WVDOH is performing an engineering analysis for proper repair including stabilization of roadway and replacement of the pipe,” said Flatley.
He then went on to say issues regarding a road closure is possible.
“A replacement of the pipe may result in a temporary road closure of Barnett Run Road,” said Flatley of the road that leads to multiple businesses. As noted above, there was no mention on possible side roads to businesses near the entrance being shut off.
No further information is available at this time. Motorists should be cautious in the area as work is being done close to Johnson Avenue and traffic cones are in place.
Editor's Note: Top photo shows the massive size of the sinkhole, while workers are shown in the bottom two photos looking to make progress on a repair that currently has no time frame. 

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