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Crews to finish repairs to sinkhole on Monday
Georgia Department of Transportation workers assess the damage caused by a sinkhole on a southbound lane of E.E. Butler Parkway on Friday morning in downtown Gainesville. Delays are expected in the area near the Chamber of Commerce building. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

For more information, visit the DOT website.

After investigating a softball-sized sinkhole Friday on E.E. Butler Parkway, near the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s office, crews discovered a much larger cavity below the opening.

Workers estimated the cavity beneath the roadway was about 5 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 5 feet long.

Because the problem was caused by a leak in a city of Gainesville water line, the city is responsible for repairs.

A southbound lane of the road was closed for about five hours on Friday while city work crews repaired the leaking three-quarter-inch line. After the line was fixed, the cavity was filled with dirt and covered with a steel plate.

The lane was re-opened about 2 p.m. and will remain open through the weekend.

With GDOT engineers overseeing the project, city crews will return Monday to pour new asphalt and re-stripe the road. That work is set to begin after morning rush hour traffic and continue until the project is completed.

The outside southbound lane of E.E. Butler Parkway, near its intersection with Washington Street, will be closed Monday for the work. GDOT officials urge drivers to avoid the area if possible.

The problem was spotted by local law enforcement about 7:30 a.m. Friday.

“That’s how we usually find out about these sorts of problems,” said Teri Pope, GDOT spokeswoman. “There are many more law enforcement officers out already patrolling (than GDOT crews), so it works out really well.”