That Sinking Feeling: Sinkholes on America’s Roadways

During heavy rains, motorists are advised to drive carefully to avoid the dangers of skidding on slick asphalt.

But there is another danger that accompanies heavy precipitation, and it lurks beneath the ground: sinkholes. These large craters can open up unexpectedly almost anywhere, in residential neighborhoods, in cities and on streets and highways.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 8.13.11 AMJust last month, motorists on I-93 in New Hampshire were backed up when a large sinkhole opened up between exist 13 and 14. Although no vehicles fell into the massive opening, it impeded traffic significantly until repairs could be completed.

Sinkholes are created when land beneath pavement or asphalt dissolves by groundwater that circulates through it. When the supporting rock gives way, surface collapses into the resulting void.

Drivers are advised to note areas on the highways that are showing depression or breakage. If you see a sinkhole on a roadway, please pull over in a safe area and report it immediately to the authorities. Your alertness can save lives and help speed repairs to vital roadways.

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