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Loose pipe causes Wilkinson Boulevard washout

A loose stormwater pipe contributed to a washout that is expected to keep a portion of Wilkinson Boulevard closed until the beginning of next week, officials said Wednesday.

State engineers sent a robotic camera underneath the street Wednesday afternoon to help determine what caused the washout, which was discovered Tuesday. Rainfall contributed to the pavement failure, which ran 12 feet deep and about 25 feet wide, said Jeff Littlefield of the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The eastbound side of Wilkinson Boulevard, a route between Gaston County and Charlotte, will be closed between Old Dowd and Sam Wilson roads until Monday. The stretch is just west of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Two of the three eastbound lanes had been closed since Tuesday morning.

Barring additional heavy rain, state engineers plan to fix the pipe and reopen the closed lanes by Monday, Littlefield said.

To get around the closed lanes, motorists heading toward Charlotte should turn right on Old Dowd Road and then left on Sam Wilson Road.

Motorists who used eastbound Wilkinson Boulevard on Wednesday morning reported no major problems. They said commuters were able to funnel into a single lane without any lengthy backups.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Burley: 704-358-5085
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