Saskatchewan

Holy moly: City says 7.5-metre deep sinkhole may be largest ever in Regina

A giant sinkhole is breaking new ground for the City of Regina. The city believes that the sinkhole, estimated at about 7.5 metres deep, may be the largest ever seen locally. 

City says it will take 3 days to fix hole

The sinkhole is located on the corner of Avonhurst and Elphinstone. (Matt Howard/CBC News)

A giant sinkhole is breaking new ground for the City of Regina.

The city believes that the sinkhole, located at the intersection of Avonhurst Drive and Elphinstone Street, may be the largest ever seen locally at an estimated 7.5 metres deep.

The hole has been described alternatively as the next Capital Pointe project or the gopher hole from which the new Gainer mascot arose.

Unusual for Regina, says city

Pat Wilson, director of water, waste and environmental services with the city, said the sinkhole is expected to take three days to repair.

"Our clay soils are part of what makes this a very, very rare occurrence. We don't typically see sinkholes or large sinkholes in Regina," said Wilson. 

Water typically leaks to the surface, tipping the city off to the fact there's a problem underground. 

In this case, a concrete sewer trunk line likely cracked, eroding the soil, said Wilson. 

"Because it's such a large line, the soil was going out through the pipe, and therefore nothing came to the surface," she said. 

The crack in the 750 mm trunk could have been leading to erosion for a long time, with the recent rains finishing off that process, she speculated. One way or the other, the earth opened up cataclysmically on Monday at about 3 p.m. CST, according to Wilson, leading to a truck's front wheel sinking into the gap. 

"[It must have been very frightening for the driver of the truck and we are very grateful there was no injuries," said Wilson. 

A truck dipped into the hole, but no one was injured. (Darlene Barss/Twitter)

A typical repair job for a sinkhole could cost $10,000 to $12,000, but with its size and complexity this sinkhole will likely cost more, she said. 

In the meantime, the city is asking people to avoid the site until repairs are done and to call if other roads look like they need attention.

"If anybody sees a place that is sagging or bulging — because it could bulge if there's water building pressure up underneath— or any place that seems unusually soft, please let us know," said Wilson.

She said the city relies on these reports, along with its own checks and maintenance.

And that's the hole story. 

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