'Skydome' Wall To Be Removed During Corvette Sinkhole Retrieval

'Skydome' Wall To Be Removed During Corvette Sinkhole Retrieval

CREATED Feb 14, 2014

by Adam Ghassemi

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.  – A plan is in place to recover eight irreplaceable Corvettes and repair the National Corvette Museum that houses them. Pieces of the Skydome will have to be removed to fit a crane inside to lift the sports cars out.

Hours after a sinkhole swallowed eight Corvettes no one wanted to get too close, so geologists sent a remote camera in to get a better look. Structural engineers said they believe it is safe, so Friday workers began getting closer to a problem that plagues Southern Kentucky.

"To swallow up eight priceless Corvettes, it is very unusual," said Michael Murphy, CEO of Scott, Murphy & Daniel, the construction firm overseeing the project.

Murphy said the Skydome's foundation is fine, but they'll have to secure its iconic spire and the sinkhole itself before pieces of the dome's walls are taken down to get a crane inside.

"All this to secure manpower and equipment when we do go in the hole to retrieve the vehicles," Murphy said.

Murphy said in early March after workers secure the sinkhole they'll begin pulling the cars out one-by-one.

"We'll dig around it. We'll do whatever we can do to lift them out and not damage them anymore than they already are," he said. "It's like going to the dentist. You've got to do what you've got to do."

Only some of the cars are visible from the surface. The damage to the rest is only a guess.

"You can see a couple others peeking through, but there are two cars that they don't even know where in the dirt they are at this point," said National Corvette Museum Marketing and Communications Manager Katie Frassinelli.

Chevrolet has stepped up and agreed to take all the Corvettes to Michigan and oversee restoration. The company could even pay for repairs insurance don't.

The National Corvette Museum is a non-profit funded by Corvette lovers, so it's not common for GM to be picking up the tab for this.

The museum will remain open to visitors during the entire process. The price tag to fix all the unearthed cars and the Skydome will likely run into the millions.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
Facebook: NC5_AdamGhassemi
Twitter: @NC5_AGhassemi

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