Airport Way will remain closed near Williamson’s Lake as crews work to repair a section of road that broke away after a culvert failed sometime last week.
“If we’re open by a week from today, we will be fortunate. It could be longer,” said Darren Komonoski in an interview on Monday morning.
The road was closed Thursday evening after a large sinkhole was noticed in the road at the bend just north of the Williamson Lake turnoff.
City public works’ crews started excavating on Friday and continued to dig over the weekend. By Sunday night, there was fill piled three-metres high along long stretches of Airport Way on both sides of the sinkhole. Two excavators were parked on site.
“The current status of the plan is we’re going to divert the water and with the work of the Ministry of the Environment we’re going to look at the existing pipe and evaluate if we’re going to repair or replace the pipe,” said Komonoski.
The cost of the repairs has not been determined as of press time.
The sinkhole was caused after a culvert beneath the road separated on a joint and the coupling let go, said Komonoski. He estimated the water was eroding the ground beneath the road for months now. He said the city inspects culverts weekly – and daily during rain events – but did not notice the problem because water was still flowing through the culvert. He estimated 80 per cent of the water was still flowing through but the remainder was escaping and eroding the road bed.
As a result of the sinkhole, Airport Way is open to local traffic only between Nichol Road and Westerburg Road. The area immediately surround the excavation is closed. A detour has been set up via Nichol Road, Camozzi Road and Westerburg Road.