Engineers expect to start pulling out Corvettes from a Bowling Green sinkhole next week.
Eight vintage versions of the car fell into the sinkhole that opened up two weeks ago beneath the National Corvette Museum. The construction company Scott, Murphy, and Daniel says the removal of the first three cars could begin next Monday, with the hopes of having those vehicles out of the sinkhole by Wednesday.
The construction team has been told it can bring excavation equipment into the Skydome area of the museum where the sinkhole opened up.
Workers will be allowed to set up cranes that will suspend engineers and contractors into the hole so that they can better examine the condition of the sinkhole and create a recovery plan.
The company estimates the crane will be in place by Saturday.
Construction crews at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green are making preparations to remove the eight cars that fell into a massive sinkhole less than a week ago.
Measures are also being taken to satisfy curious guests.
Right after the sinkhole collapse, a temporary wall was placed between the Skydome and the rest of the museum. Now, the wall is being moved closer inside the Skydome and a window is being put in so that visitors can get a better view of the sinkhole and the work being done around it.
"We've had quite a few visitors who have been coming specifically to catch a glimpse of the sinkhole, and for safety reasons, we can't allow them to go into the Skydome to see it for themselves," says Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.
A live webcam has also been placed above the sinkhole and can be accessed here.
Anecdotally, she’s seeing more visitors than normal for this time of year and more local gawkers are showing up at the museum.
Construction remains on schedule at the new Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. Mitch Wright, general manager of the Motorsports Park says any concerns related to the sinkhole that opened up inside the museum last week we’re actually addressed months ago.
“We did have some sinkholes on the property, which we have remediated. We had quite a bit of geotech work done prior to the construction starting," said Wright. “We’re pretty confident we found what we needed to find and we’re going to have a fantastic facility for people to enjoy.”
He says crews are making progress with underground work right now, and pavement will be put down in the spring. The Motorsports Park is scheduled for completion in August.
Eight cars that fell into a sinkhole at Bowling Green’s National Corvette Museum last Wednesday will be getting a little tender loving care.
The prized sports cars were damaged when a 40 foot wide by 25 foot deep sinkhole opened up beneath the Skydome portion of the museum.
Long-time Warren County Representative and former House Speaker Jody Richards says the cars will be sent off for refurbishing.
“General Motors is going to transport those to Detroit and they’re going to restore all eight of the Corvettes," the Bowling Green Democrat said. "They are very special corvettes and they want to restore them and they will eventually be back on display in the National Corvette Museum”
Richards isn’t sure if the repaired cars will be back in Bowling Green in time for the Corvette Museum's 20th anniversary in August. That's also when a new motorsports park will open in Warren County.
General Motors says it will oversee the restoration process for the eight sports cars that fell into a giant sinkhole Wednesday morning at the Corvette Museum. Bowling Green Corvette plant manager Jeff LaMarche says they won’t know the exact condition of the cars until they’re recovered.
“We know that these cars represent significant milestones – not just in our history in Chevrolet and General Motors but also in the automotive history. And nobody really has a better understanding of their significance and what it takes to properly restore these than the engineers and designers at Chevrolet where they were developed," said LaMarche.
The lead engineer for the reconstruction project says it will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize the ground around the sinkhole. After that, he says it will take 4-6 days to remove the cars. Museum officials say repairs will start Friday and they hope to have everything complete by August when the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary.
National Corvette Museum officials have called a press conference for Thursday at 3:00 pm. Executive Director Wendell Strode is expected to discuss plans moving forward such as removal of the cars inside the sinkhole and repairs to the Skydome. WKU Public Radio will have someone there and will bring you the latest during All Things Considered.
Bowling Green contractor Scott, Murphy and Daniel has been retained as the construction engineer by the National Corvette Museum to help recover and rebuild following the damage caused by Wednesday morning's sinkhole. Eight classic Corvettes fell into the 25 foot deep by 40 foot wide hole.
Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode said that firm will help devise a plan to recover the cars and save any if possible. And while safety is the top priority, Strode said they want to save the cars "as fast as we can." Strode told the Bowling Green Daily News that he was told by someone at the scene that the cars in the sinkhole had an estimated total value of $1 million.
Strode said he was confident the contracting firm could complete its work by the end of August, in time for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Museum and the projected opening of the NCM Motorsports Park.
Security footage from inside the SkyDome at the time of the sinkhole collapse shows the floor sagging suddenly, with pieces of the floor collapsing and a couple of the cars disappearing below ground.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green will re-open to the public Thursday after a sinkhole collapse swallowed up eight of the iconic vehicles.
The collapse happened shortly after 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The Bowling Green Fire Department responded to an alarm triggered by the sinkhole.
Security cameras at the museum captured the collapse, which took place in the Skydome portion of the facility where the museum shows off some of its most invaluable vehicles. Six of the Corvettes that fell into the sinkhole are owned by the museum, with the other two on loan from General Motors.
According to a news release by the museum, all cars on display in the Skydome not affected by the sinkhole have been safely removed from the area. That same release also said a structural engineering firm at the site has determined that the perimeter of the Skydome is stable.
Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode estimated the hole that opened up at the facility is 25 to 30 feet deep and 40 feet wide.
The sinkhole didn't come as a shock to WKU Geology Professor Jason Polk, who says recent rainfall may have played a role in Wednesday's collapse.
A visit with Mitch Wright about the future Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum
The last three months have been full of good news for the 2014 Corvette Stingray. In November it was named Automobile Magazine’s Car of the Year, followed the next month by the same honors from Autoweek. Monday, it was named the Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
It’s a car with a long and storied past – and no place is that more celebrated than at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. In August, the museum will celebrate its 20th anniversary. As part of the celebration, the Corvette Museum will open a new Motorsports Park featuring a 3.1 mile road course on 184 acres just across the highway from the museum.
Leading the planning for the track is Motorsports Park General Manager Mitch Wright – a former professional race car driver-turn-motorsports park operator, who’s been behind the wheel for most of his life.
“I started quite young – I was 11 years old when I started racing go-carts,” said Wright. “From as far back as I can remember, I wanted to race…I wanted to race something.”
A writer, an engineer and a driver are the 2014 inductees into the National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame in Bowling Green. The museum announced the inductees this week.
Jerry Burton has written multiple books including “Zora Arkus Duntov: The Legend Behind Corvette” and “Corvette: America’s Sports Car: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. He was also the founding editor and editorial director of Corvette Quarterly magazine and motorsports editor for AutoWeek. He’ll be joined in the Hall of Fame by John Heinricy who was both a driver and a Corvette engineer. He won 11 Sports Car Club of America national championships as a driver and oversaw production of the C4 through 1996. Dave MacDonald was one of the drivers of the 1963 Stingray in the “Biography of a Sports Car” national ad campaign. He won 47 of the 110 races in which he competed, but died at the age of 27 after a violent crash at the 1964 Indianapolis 500.
A ceremony honoring the three inductees is set for Aug. 28, 2014. The celebration will mark the museum’s 20th anniversary.