Officials predict two weeks needed to repair Spanishburg sinkhole

Greg Jordan, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, W.Va.
·1 min read

Mar. 5—SPANISHBURG — Highway crews will need about two weeks to repair an undermined road running alongside Mercer County's Bluestone River, an engineer with the West Virginia Division of Highways said Thursday.

Part of Route 19 near Spanishburg School collapsed suddenly Wednesday night, according to Joe Pack, administrator for District 10 of the state Division of Highways.

"It would be north of the school entrance by roughly a quarter of a mile," Pack said. "It's where the Spanishburg Post Office is. We were notified last night between 8:30 and 9 p.m., and we responded and found that the roadway embankment had failed."

DOH determined that the road was not safe for travel, so it was closed off, he stated.

Being close to the Bluestone River was the likely reason for the collapse.

"Without a direct cause, it was most likely due to undermining due to proximity with the Bluestone River," Pack said. "Any roadway which is built and runs parallel to a river, especially a substantial one like the Bluestone, could see things like this happen."

Detours are up to drivers, he said. There is not a direct detour on the site. Pack said a section about 700-feet long between Old Spanishburg Road and Rich Creek Road has been closed.

"Any large truck or travelers passing through Route 19, we encourage them to use Interstate 77," Pack said, estimating that repairs could take two weeks to complete.

Spanishburg School was closed Thursday and there was no remote learning. The school will be on remote learning today, and school staff will report at their regular time, according to the Mercer County Board of Education.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com