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Ohio Sinkhole, the Size of Four Football Fields, Swallows Highway [VIDEO]

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Nov 30, 2012 02:14 PM EST

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sinkhole
A giants sinkhole, the size of four football field, swallowed a highway in Ohio.(Photo : Screenshot)

A massive sinkhole in Ohio devoured a huge chunk of land that is equivalent to the size of four football fields. The Ohio sinkhole even destroyed a large stretch of highway, forcing it to close.

The ginormous hole collapsed and took a part of State Route 516 in Dover, Ohio with it. The road was closed and will remain blocked off for several months as engineers have to determine the best way to make repairs.

"I've worked for ODOT sixteen years and I've never seen anything of this magnitude,"  Ohio Department of Transportation District 11 Director Lloyd McAdam told WKYC. "It's very unusual that something like this would happen."

It is believed that the sinkhole was caused due to a pond near the road. The pond is owned by the Newton Asphalt Company, which has spent several decades dredging for sand in the area as deep as 50 feet.

"It appears to me that dredging took away the bottom of the slope," McAdam told WKYC, "and that probably eroded away and started cascading down, and just started filling the hole and filling the hole."Workers from Newton stopped traffic on State Route 516 after the collapse and notified authorities.  Traffic is being detoured on State Routes 39 and 93 and other detours are in place as the highway will be off limits for several months.

Cars came very close to falling right into the sinkhole after the collapse Hank Rutkownski, a mechanical engineer who works near where the land collapsed witness one of these close calls.

"There was a car coming down this road right about at the end when it was still driveable," Rutkowski said.  "Mike started waving his arms to stop traffic. That person might have been lucky."

Engineers must inspect the area and determine the best way to fix it. A bridge may be put in place over the area and permanent repairs probably won't be made until 2013 as the issue is complicated to fix, especially during the cold winter months.

"It's going to be a while before the road is open because this is a significant fix, and we're entering winter season where not a whole lot of construction can take place."

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