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NEWS RELEASE: Repairs to a sinkhole on the shoulder of Interstate 81 are scheduled for May 11, 2020. The sinkhole is located southbound at mile-marker 203.85 in Rockbridge County. This location is between exit 205 at Route 606 (Raphine Road) near Raphine and exit 200 at Route 710 (Sterrett Road) near Fairfield.

The left southbound lane will be closed next to the sinkhole beginning at 6 p.m. on May 11. Work will continue through the night. The left lane will reopen when the work is complete.

Depending on the size, shape and location of the sinkhole, ongoing lane closures may be needed.

Crews will be excavating the hole to determine its size and the stability of the surrounding ground before back-filling it and repairing the surrounding roadway.

The sinkhole was discovered during routine maintenance earlier this year. VDOT crews have been monitoring the hole for any significant changes before repairs could begin. The hole has remained stable during this period. Initial measurements of the hole show it is approximately 20 feet deep and about one foot wide.

All work is weather permitting.

Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at