Environment
11:32 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Cleanup Begins at Bowling Green Corvette Museum Sinkhole, Estimate Damages at $1M

UPDATED: 

A team of experts assembled Thrusday at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.  They’re developing a plan for stabilizing the Skydome where eight cars fell into a sinkhole Wednesday. 

Museum Director Wendell Strode isn’t sure when the cars will be removed.

“If you look at some of the pictures, you can see that the red spyre, it’s not 100% firm on soil therefore it’s, 30% undermined, you know, nothing underneath it, so I think the first plan of attack is to stabilize that," said Strode.

Strode says it’s too early to put a price tag on the fallen cars, but he’s heard estimates around $1 million.  The museum has retained local contractor Scott, Murphy, and Daniel for the recovery and rebuilding effort. 

“They’ve brought in a company that’s considered one of the premier geo-technical engineering firms in the world," said Strode. "They will be looking at the situation in the Skydome and reviewing photos and videos that were taken yesterday.” 

Strode is optimistic the work will be finished by the end of August in time for the museum’s 20th anniversary celebration and the opening of the Motorsports Park.

Here is security video of the sinkhole developing: 

Original Story, Wednesday:

A sinkhole 20 feet deep and 40 feet wide opened up this morning at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.

It happened just before 6 a.m. inside the Skydome where eight of the iconic sports cars fell into the sinkhole. No one was in or around the museum at the time.

Museum Director Wendell Strode says structural engineers are on the scene, as well as karst experts from Western Kentucky University.

We’re hoping they will help in the assessment of what happened and what could happen and what we might be able to do in the future from the standpoint of either having to take down the structure or if there’s repairs that need to be made,” Strode said. “But it’s still just way too early to determine that.”

Strode says six of the cars swallowed belonged to the museum, and two others were on loan from General Motors. Twenty cars remain inside the Skydome.

We asked this morning if we could remove them,” Strode said. “The fire department felt that we should not try to do that until the structural engineer had given us the go-to sign.”

The museum director says it’s too early for any damage estimates. The museum is closed to visitors today.