PennDOT issues update on repair work being performed on Route 422 sinkholes in Lebanon County

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HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued the following update on the status of repair work being performed on a sinkhole on Route 422 in Lebanon County:

  • Repair work has not been postponed  or halted, PennDOT says. The contractor (J.D. Eckman, Inc.) is continuing to work on repairs to the sinkhole and the surrounding roadway.
  • Contrary to some news reports, PennDOT says, the fact that asbestos was discovered in the pavement is not a new revelation to PennDOT. Officials knew there was asbestos in the pavement. Asbestos was used as a building material in some roads built in the 1960s and 1970s, according to PennDOT. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection was notified about the intended work and the emergency procedures in place for dealing with the asbestos. Workers will wear protective clothing, PennDOT says, and the excavated material will be hauled to a landfill.
  • There is also no asbestos in the parking lot pavement at the Palmyra Bowling Center

PennDOT said workers have flushed both sinkholes with water to clear out loose material and backfilled the holes. A parallel stormwater pipe on the south side under Route 422 is being replaced; the cross pipe from the north side will be replaced before excavation work begins. Excavation of the affected portion of the parking lot for the bowling center has also begun. However, PennDOT said, it has noticed that the sinkholes in the parking lot have subsided another three feet, so PennDOT is consulting further with geotechnical experts to determine a course of action.

Repair work should be completed by Thanksgiving, PennDOT said. It is possible that the work could end earlier. There is no estimate on how much the repair work will cost.

A signed detour directs both directions of traffic on Route 422 around the closure by way of Route 117, Route 322, and Route 934. There are no official detours that direct motorists to use local streets.