Downtown Montreal hole repairs underway

Workers have discovered a large section of a downtown intersection is being held up by rail lines from the tramways that ran through downtown Montreal.

City discovers only thing holding up pavement was old tram lines

City workers have discovered a large section of a busy Montreal intersection that partially collapsed was only being held up by underground tramlines.

Repairs are underway where a large hole, measuring 4.5 by 5 metre wide and more than two metres deep, was discovered below the intersection of Sainte-Catherine Street and McGill College Avenue.

Police closed the intersection Tuesday so workers could investigate a depressed section in the asphalt. They found that rainwater over the years had washed away the foundation and the brick sewer below.

Richard Deschamps, the executive committee member in charge of infrastructure, said this is an issue that's not going to be fixed in a matter of days.

He called it another example of infrastructure "that has been neglected in the city of Montreal for decades."

A contractor onsite told CBC news the city would likely have to dig up the entire corner because of the collapsed foundation.

In the meantime, Sainte-Catherine Street is closed between Stanley and University streets and McGill College Avenue is closed between De Maisonneuve Boulevard and Cathcart Street.

It's not clear when the intersection will be repaired, or how long the streets will be closed.

The partial collapse is the latest to take place in downtown Montreal.

Earlier this month, a large hole opened up in the pavement on Sherbrooke Street West between McGill College Avenue and University Street.

Last week, several water main breaks closed Peel Street over the course of several days.