KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Department of Transportation crews have been working to repair a sinkhole that opened up along northbound Alcoa Highway near Cherokee Trail Thursday morning.

TDOT spokesperson Mark Nagi said closures to the middle lane, right lane and right shoulder near the University of Tennessee Medical Center will remain in place until Saturday morning as repairs on the 10-foot deep, 16-foot wide sinkhole continue in addition to previously scheduled grouting operations.

Workers have been out since 3:00 a.m. Thursday to fix the sinkhole.

Nagi said crews are placing a pavement patch on the sinkhole Friday afternoon which will need to cool before temporary pavement markings will be applied.

Weather permitting, TDOT has plans to repave the area to more permanent standards on Wednesday, May 4.

“East Tennessee alone is prone to sinkholes but certainly on that stretch of Alcoa Highway,” Nagi said. “We’ve seen this happen before but one thing to stress, we’re not going to allow for that roadway to be open until we feel that it is safe for motorists.”

Nagi recommends drivers from Blount County and across the river take Pellissippi Parkway to I-40 as the sinkhole repair continues. And if you do plan to drive along Alcoa Highway northbound near UT Medical Center, you’re asked to please take it easy in the work zone.