West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) bridge crews will begin installation of a temporary bridge on WV 20 in Hinton on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, to span a massive sinkhole that opened under the road.
WV 20 will be closed during the construction period, which is expected to be complete on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Detour during construction will be WV 3 (Hinton to Shady Spring), US 19 (Shady Spring to Beaver), WV 307 (Beaver to Airport Road), Interstate 64 (Airport Road to Sandstone), and WV 20 (Sandstone to Hinton).
WVDOH Chief Engineer of District Operations Joe Pack, P.E., said bridge assembly and installation will be done in the middle of WV 20, and will take between 24 and 48 hours. The prefabricated steel bridge is similar to Bailey bridges developed by the British military during World War II, and requires assembly on site.
“We just put it together like a big Lego set,” Pack said. A similar temporary bridge was recently installed at Laneville in Tucker County to replace a bridge that had been closed for safety reasons.
In June, a sinkhole about six feet wide and about 30 feet deep opened on WV 20 next to the Hinton police station. Pack said a 90-year-old drain under the road began failing, leading to the collapse.
WVDOH work crews installed a 120-foot temporary culvert and fill material under the road, but heavy rains from Hurricane Nicole on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, washed out the fill and made the sinkhole worse.
Pack said the WVDOH plans to reinforce the existing temporary culvert to restore water flow under the road until a permanent, 300-foot steel drainage structure can be installed. The WVDOH hopes to put the permanent repair out for bid by the end of 2022.