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Corvette Museum plans to fill in sinkhole

A sinkhole that damaged eight vehicles at the National Corvette Museum will be filled in instead of preserved.
By Danielle Haynes   |   Aug. 30, 2014 at 7:37 PM   |   Comments

BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A sinkhole that swallowed up eight vehicles at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., will be completely filled in, museum officials said.

The 30-feet-deep, 40-feet-wide sinkhole opened up under the Skydome section of the museum, taking eight vehicles with it, including a 1962 black Corvette, a 1984 PPG Pace Car and a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder.

The cars were all pulled out of the hole by April, but plans to somehow preserve the gaping hole for posterity's sake have been ditched.

"We really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit," Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode told WLKY-TV, Louisville, Ky. "At the June board meeting, the information available at that time indicated a cost of around $500,000 more to keep the hole, but after incorporating additional safety features and vapor barriers for humidity control, the price tag rose to $1 million more than the cost to put the Skydome back how it was."

Keeping part of the sinkhole open would have required 35-foot retaining walls inside the hole, as well as steel beams.

Strodes said instead the museum will fill the hole and restore three of the eight damaged vehicles, a 2009 "Blue Devel" ZR1 prototype, a 1992 white convertible and a 1962 Corvette.

The others were deemed too badly damaged to be restored and will be displayed in their current condition.

"Our goal was to help the National Corvette Museum recover from a terrible natural disaster by restoring all eight cars," said Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development. "However, as the cars were recovered, it became clear that restoration would be impractical because so little was left to repair. And, frankly, there is some historical value in leaving those cars to be viewed as they are."

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