DOVER -- A state road heavily damaged by a sinkhole will remain closed until at least late spring.

State Route 516 in Dover was closed last week when an adjacent sand and gravel pit collasped and created a sinkhole several acres in size.

Traffic will continue to be detoured on State Route 39 and State Route 93.

The state will require the owner of the sand and gravel operation, Newton Asphalt Paving, Inc., to restore the affected area to its previous condition, and to stabilize the pit,so the state can then begin to repair State Route 516.

Related story: Dover: Giant sinkhole swallows land, state road

Pit restorationis expected totake a minimum of three months of good weather due to the nature of the work which must take place from a barge operation.

Restoration involves pumping sand back into the voided area, creating a protective fill.

Lloyd MacAdam, ODOT District 11 Director in Tuscarawas Countysaid, "Once the property owner's work is completed, we can begin to repair the roadway. Unfortunately, we cannot begin the road repairs until the ground surrounding the road's right-of-way is stabilized."

Engineers anticipate a late spring or early summer road reopening.