Corvette Museum Estimates Sinkhole Repairs to Cost $3.2 Million


If you haven’t been to see the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum, you might want to hurry.

The last day to witness the historic hole is just a little more than three weeks away, on Sunday, Nov. 9.

Construction to repair the damage will begin the next day, with the project slated to be done by July next year.

NCM officials met Wednesday with construction personnel and engineers to review the complicated process to remediate the sinkhole and repair the Skydome building.

The first step will be to remove boulders in the sinkhole. Next up, in late November through December, workers will install sheet piling to block the cave openings. The hole will then be filled with about 4,000 tons of fist-sized #2 stone, from late December through mid-January 2015.

The rest of the concrete slab flooring in the room will then be removed, and electrical, water, and HVAC repair work follows through mid-February.

To make sure the new floor will remain in place in the event of another collapse, 46 micropiles and grade beams will be installed mid-February through late March. Those micropiles will be 15-20 feet apart at an average depth of 141 feet.

Next up will be the addition of more stone and a new concrete slab floor, a process likely to take until mid-April.

The good thing about the sinkhole repairs is that improvements are being made to the actual usefulness of the room. For example, during the final two months of construction, a one-level natural color polished concrete floor without stairs and ramps as in the current room will be installed, along with a new entrance with a garage door and emergency exit doors, a redesigned drainage system and a 12-foot paved perimeter around the Skydome.

All this work won’t be cheap. The cost is estimated to be a little over $3.2 million.

If you were hoping to watch the work on the Skydome webcams, unfortunately they will have to be removed during construction. But the Plexiglas viewing window will still be in operation for actual visitors to the museum.

If you were disappointed that the sinkhole wouldn’t be left as is, the museum says it’s exploring several options that could include the opportunity to see down into the caves and 3D art, so the story of this amazing show of strength by Mother Nature won’t be left untold.

And of course, you’ll still be able to see the three restored Corvettes and five unrestored Corvettes that fell into the sinkhole, once construction is done.

“We appreciate all of the support, feedback, ideas and prayers throughout this very interesting time in our history,” said Wendell Strode, Museum Executive Director. “Sunday, November 9 will be the very last day to see the sinkhole up close and in person – so if you’ve been wanting to check it out for yourself you have just over three weeks to do so.”

National Corvette Museum

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