The Corvette Museum in Bowling Green is open, and the Sky Dome is the only area closed. However, a viewing window to see the sinkhole has been constructed.
February 12, 2014 is a day that will go down in the history books of Corvette, a day when a large sinkhole opened up in one of the most unusual spots – the Skydome area of the National Corvette Museum, taking eight prized Corvettes with it. Teams of engineers and construction personnel have been on-site since day one, securing the area and moving forward with the remediation of the sinkhole. While the Museum was closed to the public on the day of the unfortunate event, we re-opened the following day and have been open normal hours since then. The Skydome area of the Museum is the only portion currently closed to the public.
The safety of Museum employees and guests is our #1 priority, and with that in mind we wanted to share information from our team of experienced professionals as to safety and stabilization of the building.
“Concerning the safety of the facility at the National Corvette Museum, it is important to understand that the Skydome is an independent structure that is isolated from the remainder of the facility with a building expansion joint. The collapse of the slab-on-grade within the Skydome has not compromised the structures of the remaining facility. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Skydome structure has been closely monitored and exhibits no signs of displacement or member distress at this time.”
“Having spent 40 years living and working in the Bowling Green area, sinkholes and our Karst geology are a fact of life for our Firm and our community. Of the many sinkhole remediation projects that we have consulted on, I cannot recall any situation where additional sinkhole collapses have occurred as a result of an initial collapse. We have no reason to believe that the situation at the National Corvette Museum is any different. For the safety of the public, our Firm has monitored the facility daily since the morning of the collapse and will continue to monitor the facility daily until all repairs are completed. During this monitoring, we have seen no indication of additional collapses therefore, we believe that the National Corvette Museum is safe and encourage the public to continue visiting.”
- Dennis D. Smith, PE, PLS, M.ASCE and Matt Rogers, PE, M.ASCE, DDS Engineering, PLLC
“In Bowling Green, Kentucky, we are highly knowledgeable about sinkholes and caves, as we have studied them for many decades through pioneering work done at WKU and from others. This area of the country is an iconic example of a landscape where sinkholes occur. In recent years, our knowledge and understanding, along with the technology and science to better study these landforms, has advanced significantly. Living, visiting, or vacationing in an area like Bowling Green, KY is as safe as anywhere else in the country. In fact, millions come very year specifically to visit places like Mammoth Cave and our natural parks solely because of their interesting and dynamic geology and water features! “
– Dr. Jason Polk, Assistant Professor of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University. Dr. Polk also recommends www.underbgky.org for more information on Bowling Green’s karst landscape.
Two barrier walls have been installed between the Skydome building and the rest of the Museum. One wall includes a video monitor which shows live webcam footage of the work being completed in the Skydome. The other wall incorporates a plexi-glass viewing area so that guests may witness the sinkhole for themselves from a safe distance. Both areas are part of the Museum tour and included with regular admission.
The National Corvette Museum is open daily, and is located at I-65 exit 28 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Learn more about the Museum at www.corvettemuseum.org and get the latest updates on the Museum’s Facebook Fan page at www.facebook.com/