There is no timeline yet to re-open a Stephens County boat ramp on Lake Hartwell.

The gate to the boat ramp just off of U.S. 123 at the South Carolina state line is locked and the sign posted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers states that the area is closed due to a sinkhole.

The Corps of Engineers Hartwell Project operations manager Kenneth Bedenbaugh said that the Corps discovered the sinkhole at the start of the Fourth of July weekend.

"Late Friday evening, July 1, we discovered a sinkhole that had developed on an access road leading into the recreation area, which created a public safety hazard for anybody to be driving on that road," said Bedenbaugh. "Due to that, we immediately closed the park and it remained closed throughout the weekend."

According to Bedenbaugh, the area will remain closed until repairs take place.

He said that the Corps is currently seeking estimates on what it will cost to repair the sinkhole and make the access road safe.

Bedenbaugh went on to say that the cost estimates will have a lot to do with when the work gets completed.

"We are operating on some limited funding this year," said Bedenbaugh. "Our budgets are a lot tighter than they have been in the past. We really do not have enough funding to make a lot of major repairs. All of our funding is tied up in basic operations. Depending on the estimates we get back, we will have to make some decisions about when we can make the repairs. So, in the meantime, we cannot provide a timeline."

Bedenbaugh said that the Corps hopes to have those estimates back in a few days.

In the meantime, he said people are encouraged to use other boat ramps in the area to access Lake Hartwell.