West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – Portions of I-26 east are closed near the 112 mm close to West Columbia due to what is being described as a hump or washout in the pavement. According to officials who have been on the scene assessing the situation, it appears as if a waterline under or close to the interstate has caused the pavement to rise and become soft and unsafe to drive over.
The SCDOT has described the damage as a washout and some have even called it a sinkhole. Sinkholes are often caused when pipes, either storm or sanitary sewer, or a freshwater line, separate and allows soils under the road bed to infiltrate into the pipes. Eventually, as the road base erodes, the asphalt collapses causing the sinkhole.
There has been no timeline released for when the roadway will be repaired. The owner of the suspected waterline has also not been released.