According to reports, a 10-mile section of motorway was closed down due to a 15-foot-deep sink hole. The hole started to form between northbound and southbound traffic. The section of the M2 that was closed is located just north of Kent, right between junctions 5 and 6. Local authorities say that the sink hole has already grown to 16 feet wide by 16 feet long.
The roads were first closed on Sunday and have yet to be reopened. There is fear that the sink hole might start to spread. It is believed that this sink hole started to form due to the massive amounts of rain that the UK has been getting. Despite this fact, the Highways Agency has yet to give an official report as to what it thinks caused the sink hole. It is still investigating the hole and states that this section of road will remain closed until they are sure that it is safe to use again.
The Highways Agency said that it already has contractors and engineers out on the scene. Together, these groups will be monitoring the sink hole for changes. They will be using equipment to monitor the hole overnight for the next few nights. For the time being, there have been signs put up to divert traffic to other roads.
Despite the worry this hole has created, the Highways Agency said that there were no injuries caused by the hole. This was due to the fact that the hole started on the central reservation. Had it started on the actual carriageway, it may have been a different story.
The president of AA, Edmund King, said that thankfully, this hole formed on the central reservation. He does not think that it has anything to do with general maintenance or potholes in the road. There seems to be some kind of anomaly in the structure. This could have been caused by an old mineshaft or a geological fault.
This is a big concern because this is a very busy motorway. Teams will need to work together to find out what caused the sink hole and to find out if the road is safe to use again. The road cannot and will not be reopened until the Highways Agency is satisfied that the road is safe for the general public to use again.
The director of the RAC Foundation, Professor Stephen Glaister, said that UK roads already have more congestion than any other road network in all of Europe. As a result, these roads have to be maintained properly or there will be major impacts on main routes. It is actually a shock that this kind of thing has not happen before. Every single day, these roads are being hammered by rain. When the rain finally does stop, the UK is going to be left with a huge repair bill.
For those who do not know, sink holes are found around the world. They can be as deep as 2,000 feet and can even stretch for miles. Most of the time, sink holes are formed by groundwater that flows under the rock. As the water eats away at the rock and dirt under the ground, it forms subterranean holes and caverns.