Tennessee Sinkhole Destroys Austin Peay’s Football FieldBy: Val Powell - May 21, 2014
A 40-foot deep sinkhole has opened up on Austin Peay State University’s football field.
The large sinkhole started as a small hole that first appeared a few weeks ago. According to the authorities, the small hole was the size of an office desk. Crews immediately started to work on preventing the hole from growing larger, but they were unsuccessful. By Monday, they had estimated the size of the sinkhole to be about 30 feet by 50 feet wide.
As of today, the sinkhole has only affected one part of the Governors Stadium, which is being renovated. Reports say that the university is spending about $19 million for renovations. Engineers are looking for a permanent fix for the hole, and they are projecting that the stadium will be completely done by football season, which starts in September.
Bill Persinger, the Tennessee school’s spokesperson, said that the sinkhole is not the first one that they have seen on campus grounds. “I’ve seen dozens of them. They come up all the time.” However, the most recent one has been the largest.
Mike Jenkins, the superintendent for a Nashville-based construction company who is in charge of the stadium’s renovations said that they have already set a budget for sinkhole remediaton when they did the budget for the football stadium. “You never know to what extent you’re going to run into them, but we know that Montgomery County, and Austin Peay State University specifically, is famous for sinkholes.”
Based on reports from the U.S. Geological Survey, sinkholes are most common in places where carbonate rocks, salt beds, and limestone rocks are abundant. In these places, groundwater is capable of circulating through the rocks, and this causes spaces to develop underground.
Aside from Tennessee, there have also been reports of giant sinkholes in Florida and Kentucky. Last year, a large sinkhole in Florida appeared and ate up part of a resort located near Disney World. In February, another 40-foot sinkhole opened up at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky, and swallowed eight Corvette collector’s edition cars.
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