The Wadesboro McDonald’s reopened at 5 a.m. Monday after being closed for more than a month, due to a massive sinkhole that developed in the restaurant’s driveway July 28 and worsened Aug. 10.
Pizza Hut and Harvest Ministries Outreach Center share the same driveway, and have also been closed since Aug. 10.
The sinkhole’s first appearance July 28 was caused by torrential rains. Two New Jersey men had just gone through the McDonald’s drive-thru and were headed back to U.S. 74 when the sinkhole opened up beneath their vehicle. The men were treated for minor injuries at Anson Community Hospital but were otherwise OK.
The sinkhole was about 20 feet deep at that point. Joe Mendola, who represents property owner Claude Smith, said July 30 that he expected the businesses to be able to reopen later that week. A temporary road was opened to allow customers and employees to access the businesses, but the temporary road and main driveway had to be closed completely when more rains caused the sinkhole to expand on Aug. 10.
Repairs started immediately. Private work crews dug up the entire driveway with a backhoe and replaced the existing pipe with an 11-foot pipe, then repaved and repainted the driveway. The process took about six weeks.
“I think the pipe is big enough now that it’s going to take a lot for it to get clogged again,” said Wadesboro McDonald’s manager Lisa Bittle.
The Wadesboro McDonald’s crew was placed in three other restaurants in the region while their “home” store was closed, said Bill Shelton, district manager. “Everyone stuck around; we have the same crew and I am so happy about that,” Bittle said. “We want to let our customers know we appreciate them and we appreciate their patience.”
Shelton added that the McDonald’s has reopened just in time for the corporation’s popular Monopoly game, which started Tuesday. The restaurant will also honor all coupons, as well as competitors’ coupons. In addition, Bittle said customers should be aware that McDonald’s is once again open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We are all so happy to be back,” she added, “and customers will always get a smile and a ‘Welcome to McDonald’s!’ when they come in our doors.”