A section of St. Joseph Boulevard that's closed in both directions because of a sinkhole is scheduled to reopen well before the Tuesday afternoon rush hour, according to the city.

The sinkhole appeared at the corner of St. Joseph Boulevard and Edgar Brault Street at about 11:35 a.m. Monday.

Large amounts of water and a rupture in the pavement were reported after a water main broke in the area.

St. Joseph Boulevard is closed between St. Pierre and Gabriel streets while crews make repairs.

The road was initially expected to reopen Monday night, but Coun. Stephen Blais said on Twitter the repairs would take longer, and a structural inspection was planned for Tuesday morning.

'This was on our priority list,' city general manager says

Dixon Weir, the city's general manager of environmental services, said this stretch of water main was installed in 1975 and was scheduled to be assessed.

"This was on our priority list. It was one of the sections of pipe we were planning to carry out an assessment of conditions on, but unfortunately this break has preceded that," said Weir.

In an email Tuesday morning, Weir said the section of closed road is expected to reopen "well in advance" of the afternoon rush hour.

Neighbourhood resident Isabel Lemon said the hole opened about five minutes before she arrived at the road and she counts herself lucky she didn't drive into it.

"I was just about to leave home this morning but my husband decided to talk a bit longer and thank God to him," said Lemon.

"It could have been me going down the hole."

Ottawa Public Health said drinking water was not compromised and that they would not be issuing a boil water advisory.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the closed section of St. Joseph Boulevard would reopen on Wednesday afternoon, according to police. In fact, the section of road won't reopen until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.
    Oct 08, 2013 6:44 AM ET