CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – A solution to the Hinton sinkhole, which has become a growing problem for the local community, is coming this Saturday.

West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) bridge crews will install a temporary bridge on WV 20 in Hinton on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, to cross the massive sinkhole that opened under the road near the Police Station.
WV 20 will be closed during the construction period, which is expected to be complete on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The suggested detour during construction is WV 3 (Hinton to Shady Spring), US 19 (Shady Spring to Beaver), WV 307 (Beaver to Airport Road), Interstate 64 (Airport Road to Sandstone), and WV 20 (Sandstone to Hinton).
WVDOH Chief Engineer of District Operations Joe Pack, P.E., said bridge assembly and installation will be done in the middle of WV 20, and will take between 24 and 48 hours. The prefabricated steel bridge is similar to Bailey bridges developed by the British military during World War II, meaning it will be assembled on site.

“We just put it together like a big Lego set.”

WVDOH Chief Engineer of District Operations Joe Pack, P.E.

A similar temporary bridge was recently installed at Laneville in Tucker County.

In June, a sinkhole about six feet wide and about 30 feet deep opened on WV 20 next to the Hinton police station. Pack said a 90-year-old drain under the road began failing, leading to the collapse.

WVDOH work crews installed a 120-foot temporary culvert and fill material under the road, but heavy rains from Hurricane Nicole on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, washed out the fill and made the entire sinkhole worse.

Pack said the WVDOH plans to reinforce the existing temporary culvert to restore water flow under the road until a permanent, 300-foot steel drainage structure can be installed. The WVDOH hopes to put the permanent repair out for bid by the end of 2022.