Filling that sinking feeling

Repairs on Corvette swallowing sinkhole to begin on November 10th.


Construction to fill the massive sinkhole that opened up and swallowed 8 valuable Corvettes on Wednesday, February 12, 2014, in the Skydome part of the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., is scheduled to begin Nov. 10, the museum said. The plan for fixing the 40-foot-wide, 50- to 60-foot-deep sinkhole and rehabbing the Skydome building, is estimated to cost $3.2 million. The project will include removing boulders, installing sheet pilings to block cave openings and filling the hole with about 4,000 tons of fist-sized stones.


The museum also will install micropiles spaced 15 to 20 feet apart at an average depth of 141 feet based on the structural engineering design, a museum statement said. This design guarantees that in the event of another sinkhole, the floor would hold. The museum expects construction to be completed by July.


The sinkhole disaster has had a “tremendous impact on attendance,” executive director Wendell Stode said. Attendance is up about 65 percent because of visitors who want to see the sinkhole.


“That aspect has been a positive, but a lot of worry and hard work has gone into getting to where we are today,” Strode said.


The museum plans to include the affected Corvettes as “part of an exhibit that tells a story of what happened,” Strode said.


The museum will exhibit three restored Corvettes and five unrestored Corvettes in the Skydome once construction has completed. Chevrolet will be restoring the 2009 Corvette ZR1 prototype, nicknamed the Blue Devil, and the 1 millionth Corvette built, a white 1992 convertible. On top of restoring those Corvettes, GM will fund the restoration of the 1962 Tuxedo Black Corvette while the museum oversees the restoration.


Corvette Mike