Palmyra sinkhole completely closes Route 422

PALMYRA, Pa. (WHTM) – A sinkhole has closed all lanes of Route 422 in North Londonderry Township.

PennDOT closed the westbound lane after noon on Tuesday. The eastbound lane was closed since last week when the sinkhole in front of the Palmyra Bowling Center created cracks in the pavement.

It could be months before both lanes reopen.

“That would be a major inconvenience,” Gail Rottweiler of Palmyra said.

PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler said the sinkhole appears to be growing and heavy storms in the forecast could make it worse.

A depression in the bowling center parking lot is about 45 feet wide and extends into the shoulder and eastbound lane. Two openings in the parking lot pavement appeared last week.

“Sinkholes are nothing new to us or the area,” said Chris Uecker, the general manager of the Palmyra Bowling Center and Sinkhole Saloon. “I mean, it’s Palmyra. We’re the sinkhole capital.”

PennDOT hopes to have in place this week a contractor who will excavate the sinkhole, make repairs, and reopen the highway. Schreffler said the repair will involve excavating about 200 feet of the highway just east of a previous repair made in 2014.

The goal is to finish the repair and reopen Route 422 to traffic by Thanksgiving, if not sooner.

“It’s a safety concern,” Uecker said. “You don’t want to see someone drive into it. You don’t want to see anything like that.”

Eastbound motorists on Route 422 are detoured by way of Route 117, Route 322, and Route 934.

A signed detour directs westbound motorists will be detoured by way of Route 934, Route 322, and Route 117.

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