The Georgia Department of Transportation said Wednesday it will take some time to repair a sinkhole that has developed on State Route 51 near Lake Hartwell in Hart County.
The sinkhole opened up Tuesday morning at a location on State Route 51 about 6 miles north of Hartwell, along an area of the roadway bordered on both sides by Lake Hartwell.
Georgia DOT engineers said that once the asphalt was removed, they found a cavity 10 feet square at the top and 20 feet deep taking up almost the entire northbound lane.
Engineers added that the dirt supporting the roadway was undermined.
DOT District Engineer Bayne Smith said the agency will hire a contractor to complete the repairs.
Smith said those repairs will be quite complex because of the proximity of Lake Hartwell to the roadway and the pressures that amount of water puts on the road’s drainage system.
He went on to say that the DOT is still working to determine the full extent of the damage and develop a repair plan.
At this point, Smith said the DOT does not have an estimated time frame for the repairs to be completed.
He did say the work will take several weeks at least.
Until the road is repaired, motorists heading north on State Route 51 will turn left onto Boat Road and then right on Parham Road, which leads back to State Route 51.
The detour route is reversed for southbound traffic.