July 12th, 2024

Sinkhole opens up downtown, crews on site repairing

By Gillian Slade on May 16, 2017.

NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE A sink hole about one metre wide, or 30 inches by 24 inches, appeared Tuesday morning at the corner of 4th Street and 6th Ave downtown. City crews had cordoned off the area and were allowing traffic through one side of the road at a time.

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A sinkhole emerged downtown affecting the flow of traffic in the area as city crews addressed the problem on Tuesday.

The sinkhole was the size of a typical doorway and about three feet deep, at the corner of Fourth Street S.E. and Sixth Avenue near the bus depot, was caused by old storm sewer infrastructure collapsing, said Trevor Funk, operations superintendent for municipal works.

“It’s the catch basin and storm sewer pipes. It’s all old. It’s reached the end of its life so we have failures where you have broken pipe and that sort of thing. It’s common when infrastructure reaches the end of its life,” said Funk.

The area was cordoned off on Tuesday morning with traffic reduced to a single lane in the area affecting vehicles on Fourth Street S.E. and Sixth Avenue.

A city employee first noticed the sinkhole on Monday night and reported the situation. Contractors were on site Tuesday morning to make the necessary repairs.

Depending on the weather the necessary repairs and replacement of infrastructure, such as the catch basin and sections of the pipes to repair the damaged portions, were expected to be complete on Tuesday. Rebuilding the road to its previous level and finishing with blacktop will possibly be done on Wednesday, said Funk.

“We are trying to get it done as quick as possible. If people can avoid the intersection it would be helpful,” said Funk. “There will be delays there.”

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