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Storms Cause Sinkhole On Whiteaker Springs, Spring

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Storms Cause Sinkhole On Whiteaker Springs, Spring

The Putnam County Highway Department spent part of the week repairing a three-foot void on Whiteaker Springs Road caused by heavy rain.

Putnam County Road Supervisor Randy Jones said this void has already opened up three or four times before. He said much of Putnam County is drained through underground sinkholes and caves, causing small holes in the road to appear after consecutive days of rain. He said this one was only a couple of feet deep.

“There’s a lot of rock in that area,” Jones said. “And this water’s probably running on top of a rock or something or other, and it just eats out a little void, and then the road deteriorates and falls down a little bit.”

Jones said crews filled the hole with larger rock and poured asphalt over the top of it with a patch truck. He said this particular void has popped up so routinely that if it happens again, the department will likely opt for a more permanent fix.

“It’s a mesh material that they use, and we’ll probably put some of that down,” Jones said. “And then we’ll put some rock on top of it and we’ll build it up and fix it where that will make it more stable, maybe. We haven’t tried that before, but we probably will this next time because I’m sure it’ll probably fall out again one of these days.”

He said the road was closed for a short period Tuesday morning, but residents still had an easy way in and out of their nearby neighborhoods. He said stormy spring weather makes small sinkholes like this one quite common throughout the county.

“We go in and take a backhoe and dig it out and make sure we don’t have a void back under the rest of the road or anything,” Jones said. “And we’ll dig it out, and we’ll put some large rock in there.”

Jones said a similar void opened up on Spring Street over the weekend and was patched by the state. He said patching small openings in the road is an ongoing battle given Putnam County’s natural terrain.


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