Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

March 28, 2014

Tazewell sinkhole could pose possible threat if solution not found

TAZEWELL, Va. — A sinkhole at the Tazewell County Airport could pose a threat if it is not fixed, officials said Thursday.

Airport Manager Jerry McReynolds is scheduled to appear before the Tazewell Board of Supervisors Tuesday in hopes of coming up with a resolution to fix the hole.

A few years ago there was a large project to remove the mountaintop for a safer approach into the airport, McReynolds said. The project removed about 67 feet of the mountaintop and there was a riprap down the middle of the mountain which flowed into a drainage pond. There is now a sinkhole where the riprap was located. A riprap is a ditch that is filled with large rocks to help prevent erosion.  

“Right now we have a fence up around it because we believe it could be a hazard,” McReynolds said. “I went and looked at the hole the other day and it appears to have gotten a little bigger. There is no threat to aviation but there is a liability issue there if someone got hurt.”

The state is supporting an engineering study to figure out how to fix it. The project would be an 80/20 split between the state and county. Even though the county would only be responsible for 20 percent that could still be a large amount of money considering the project, McReynolds said.

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