A sinkhole in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 24 near Clarksville caused quite a scare for commuters Tuesday morning and continues to slow traffic Tuesday evening.
One lane of eastbound I-24 was closed near exit 8, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates it will reopen by 9 p.m.
A passing driver first spotted the crumbling asphalt right before rush hour. The driver saw what appeared to be a large crack forming along the yellow line on the shoulder of the interstate about 6 a.m. and called police.
TDOT crews believe it started at a draining ditch where the ground caved in to the asphalt.
"After they dug out all of the loose dirt, it was actually a 25- by 50-foot sinkhole that needed repair," said Amy Fiscor, with TDOT maintenance. "We will secure it, put rock back in and put geo-textile fabric back on top."
Sinkholes are becoming more and more common in the Clarksville area, where there are about 20 to 30 a year.
Officials with the streets department blame poor drainage and the fact that the limestone under the surface of the ground is so soluble.
To be on the safe side, road crews inspected up and down the interstate Tuesday to make sure there were no other possible sinkholes.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.