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‘This whole area is questionable’: City of Winnipeg investigates sinkhole on Albert Street

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‘This whole area is questionable’: City of Winnipeg investigates sinkhole on Albert Street – Jun 22, 2017

WINNIPEG — Just a block away from the city’s most iconic intersection, Portage and Main, hides a big problem underneath a piece of plywood.

Everyday for more than a month, Daniel Fehr-Krahn has walked past a huge sinkhole on Albert Street. It’s about six feet long, three feet wide and in some places 10 feet deep. Small chunks of the sidewalk have disappeared underground and two trees are falling in.

A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
Lorraine Nickel / Global News
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month. Lorraine Nickel/Global News
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
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A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.
A large sinkhole on Albert Street and Notre Dame. People who work in the area are concerned that it has been like this for more than a month.

“This whole area is questionable.”

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“I think it’s just safety people walk, park or drive on here, trucks come delivering so the grounds always moving,” Fehr-Krahn said.

RELATED: Winnipeg sinkhole likely caused by collapsed underground pipe: Professor

University of Manitoba Civil Engineer, Ahmed Shalaby, said the buildings should be fine. He said it appears the storm water sewer is damaged or collapsed, causing the earth around it to be washed away. Eventually as more people drive and walk over the area the concrete crumbles.

“If it is a collapsed sewer, a limited repair could require between four and eight weeks to install,” Shalaby said.

“In some cases, the condition of the rest of the sewer may also have deteriorated and a longer section may need to be replaced to avoid unexpected failures.”

It also doesn’t help that the street was built in the 1870’s.

RELATED: Sinkhole shuts down southbound St. Mary’s Road

“This is an aging street, the Exchange District was one of the first commercial districts in the city,” Cindy Tugwell, Executive Director of Heritage Winnipeg said.

Tugwell thinks the city isn’t in a hurry to fix the problem because it’s outside of the vacant St. Charles Hotel.

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“If this was a functional occupied building and there was synergy on the street and people going in and out to a business in there, this probably wouldn’t be allowed to procrastinate on the city’s books.”

The city would only said it’s still investigating.