Repairs to a large sinkhole that opened on Pasqua Street about two weeks ago are taking longer than expected.
The City of Regina says they had hoped to complete repairs on the hole, which Global News first received reports of on Aug. 2, by the end of last week. They say last weekend’s heavy rain put a damper on those plans. They now hope to have things sealed up by the end of this week.
It’s the second significant sinkhole the city has had to deal with this summer. Pat Wilson, director of water, waste, and environmental services with the City of Regina says that large sinkholes aren’t a problem the city typically experiences.
“Our clays usually prevent us from seeing that kind of thing. We have seen some different weather patterns. a combination of dry years with more rain this year could be a factor,” she said. “Certainly as our lines age, they are more vulnerable to various things.”
She says the City is monitoring collected data to try and determine if trends are changing.
“This is challenging, in part because you can’t simply look at some other cities and say ‘what’s happened?’ There are other soil conditions and other weather conditions, and they aren’t necessarily going to result in the same patterns.”
Wilson said the city plans to use the lengthened construction window to examine that stretch of sewer line which is scheduled to be relined in 2020.
“We want to have a closer look at a stretch of that line to make sure that it can wait until next year,” she said.
The work, which will involve feeding a small camera through the hole, will be completed by the same contractor that has been relining 15th Avenue this summer.
“This is a very large line. With the 15th Avenue work wrapping up this week, that gives us an opportunity to use that equipment,” she said. “We’ll have that contractor go in and do cleaning and inspection to make sure we do whatever we need to now to deal with that situation until we can get the full program done.”
Wilson said the City has evaluated about 400 of Regina’s 900 or so kilometres of pipe in the last four to five years. She said relining vulnerable lines is a proactive way of avoiding blockages and breakages, which can result in sinkholes.
Wilson also reminded motorists to take caution when traveling near this or any construction zone.
“I know it can be frustrating, but we did experience people driving right into the worksite. It’s a risk for the individual. It’s a risk for our workers. So we do ask drivers to respect those traffic zones.”