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An Update on the National Corvette Museum Sinkhole Progress: Removing the Dirt

It has been two weeks since our last update on the National Corvette Museum sinkhole and while the crew has made significant progress on, they haven’t been able to extract any of the final three buried Corvettes from the rubble beneath the museum’s Skydome.

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Since the PPG Pace Car Corvette was pulled out more than three weeks ago, the team working on the National Corvette Museum has been focusing on removing the debris that is hiding the final three cars. In our last update on March 14th, we explained how the crew was working to reinforce the walls of the sinkhole to prevent any crumbling which could endanger workers in the hole, or cause more of the museum flooring to collapse. After spending a great many hours reinforcing the sinkhole walls all of the way around, the workers were able to begin cleaning out the hole.

The current task at hand is removing the larger pieces of debris including chucks of rock along with sections of the museum flooring and foundation, but before they could do that they buried the Corvette ZR1 Spyder in a thick tarp and sand to protect the exposed portions from any large pieces of debris that could shift and further crush the black convertible concept. Once that car was “safer”, the crew was able to remove some large pieces of rock and concrete in addition to removing some portions of the flooring still hanging over the 40 foot deep hole.

Once the team had been able to remove the flooring still dangling above the sinkhole along with the first layer or large debris, they were able to begin removing a few tons of loose dirt and smaller rock that is covering the area in which the team believes that the 1.5 millionth Corvette is buried. Using a massive vacuum, the loose dirt is slowly being removed from the sinkhole and earlier this week, the crew had begun adding water to the loose dirt to make a “sludge” that the team believes will be easier to vacuum out of the hole (as shown above).

In the image above, which is the most recent picture of the progress from the National Corvette Museum, you can see how much cleaner the edge of the hole is now and, although they have removed large portions of the bigger debris and smaller dirt – there is still a massive amount of rubble covering the final three cars. The process is still likely going to be very slow moving as the project is being handled as carefully as possible, but the good news is that the early phase of reinforcing the hole to begin really cleaning the hole out is complete. As of right now, it seems that the “only thing” the crew has to do is get the debris out of the hole and extract the final three Corvettes. Of course, they could also run into more problems as they dig down into the earth and that is a big reason why the process is being performed so gradually.

Image: National Corvette Museum

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Ed Kropa (not verified)    March 29, 2014 - 5:42PM

Thanks so much for update - I plan to come this summer - you were smart to keep the cars there for awhile before restoration. Local motels are probably appreciative as well. Trying to get a base model bought but still some ahead of me on dealer allocation.