GEORGIA — If everything goes smoothly, the southbound exit ramp at Exit 18 here may be reopened in two weeks, but that is the best case scenario, according to Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) spokesperson Amy Tatko.
The ramp has been closed since Monday when VTRans staff investigating a sinkhole alongside the ramp noticed the pavement visibly moving as a truck passed over it.
There is a “large void and cracking in the ramp, so the ramp is deemed unsafe for traffic,” said Tatko.
The sinkhole was created by high water in the culvert beneath the ramp, caused by the Halloween storm, explained Tatko. The sinkhole, in turn, was undermining the road.
There are eight high priority repair projects in the region as a result of the storm. Repairs to the ramp top that project list. A recognition, said Tatko, “of the need to get it open as quickly as possible.”
Repairs are expected to take at least two weeks and cost at least $250,000, Tatko said.
The first step is excavating to the 11-foot wide culvert. Then two large pumps will be used to remove water from the side before concrete is poured. Next a stabilization team will come in to keep silt from settling and destabilizing the road again.
Finally, the ramp will be repaved and the guard rails reinstalled.