The District of Saanich has begun remediating a sinkhole discovered in the midst of a February snow storm.
The sinkhole, located below the asphalt where Albina Street meets Gorge Road West, may have been caused by degrading supports of a sanitary sewer pipe installed in the 1950s.
The sinkhole first appeared Feb. 11, causing the District to close the road and place a large metal plate over it as a safety measure. The surface of the hole is about 30 cm by 60 cm, but the hole beneath the surface is at least several metres deep and and wide.
The District says its investigations indicated “additional areas of potential instability of the soil existing along the route of the sanitary sewer pipe” but notes the sewer is still intact and fully functional.
The project’s first phase runs now through mid-October, when the District plans to relocate the water utility infrastructure and install timber mats spanning the width of the sewer trench – allowing for the steeling plates currently installed in the roadway to be removed once the project is finished.
There will continue to be no access to Albina Street from Gorge Road West and only residential traffic will have access to the the southbound lane of Albina Street from the Gorge Shopping Centre to Obed Avenue.
One way traffic each direction is required to finish the project, says the District, and will be in effect until Oct. 4 excluding weekends.
From Oct.6 to 11 Gorge Road West will be closed entirely at Albina Street, with westbound traffic closed at Harriet and Gorge Road West. BC Transit routes will be impacted and signage and detour routes will be put in place.
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