Saanich says it will take months to fix a sink hole that appeared during ‘Snowmaggedon’

Saanich says it will take months to fix a sink hole that appeared during ‘Snowmaggedon’

Roads closed in the area after the sink hole first opened in early February

Private and commercial vehicles face restrictions travelling near the site of a sink hole in Saanich that first opened in February.

The municipality closed access to Albina Street from Gorge Road West as it searches for a long-term solution to the sink hole that opened in early February. It has also closed the southbound lane of Albina Street from the Gorge Shopping Centre to Obed Avenue with access permitted for residential traffic only. While the northbound lane will be open for traffic both directions, vehicles must yield in using the gravel shoulder as required.

Saanich has also placed weight restrictions until further notice on Gorge Road West from Tillicum Road to Harriet Road prohibiting any vehicles exceeding 18,000 kilograms. BC Transit remains operational throughout this section of road.

RELATED: Saanich sinkhole one of several hazards that kept crews busy on ‘Snowmageddon Day 2’

Saanich staff discovered the sinkhole itself below the asphalt on Albina Street north of Gorge Road West in early February during ‘Snowmageddon’ when heavy snow storms blanketed the region. While crews have since exposed and back-filled the hole, drilling has since identified additional points of soil weaknesses along the route of the sewer pipe.

According to Saanich, crews installed the sanitary sewer pipe in the early 1950s by tunneling with timber supports. It is speculated that the supports are degrading, causing the potential settlement of soil over time. The sewer remains intact and fully functional.

Saanich said in an update that it is working to establish solutions to remedy the areas in question for the short and medium term. “This will take a few months to engineer and construct,” it reads. “A long term, more permanent solution, will subsequently be developed.”

Officially, Saanich says the work will be completed in late summer 2019.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com