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Fiberglass pipe from Dubai needed to repair massive hole in south Edmonton sewer line

Click to play video 'Fiberglass pipe from Dubai needed to repair massive hole in south Edmonton sewer line' Fiberglass pipe from Dubai needed to repair massive hole in south Edmonton sewer line
A massive sinkhole below the intersection of 61 Avenue and 109 Street in south Edmonton won't be repaired until May 2021. As Kendra Slugoski explains, EPCOR says a special-order pipe cannot be made in Canada and it will take weeks to be delivered to Edmonton. – Dec 2, 2020

Work to repair a massive hole in a sewer trunk line below a busy south Edmonton intersection is expected to take until May 2021 to complete.

The emergency drainage repair work in the Parkallen neighbourhood has led to road closures and traffic disruptions in the area of 61 Avenue and 109 Street since the hole was discovered in October.

Read more: Massive 23-metre hole discovered in south Edmonton, road repairs will take ‘several months’: EPCOR

During an inspection on Oct. 8 of a sewer trunk line that runs 23 metres below 61 Avenue, EPCOR said a 2.5-metre opening was discovered along the top of the line. Crews then found materials surrounding the trunk line were eroded, which created an “underground void in the earth above the trunk line.”

Three days later, a massive sinkhole opened up at the intersection, which has been closed to traffic ever since. At the time, EPCOR said it would take “months” to repair but a firm timeline was not provided.

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Click to play video '23-metre-deep sinkhole discovered at south Edmonton intersection will take months to repair' 23-metre-deep sinkhole discovered at south Edmonton intersection will take months to repair
23-metre-deep sinkhole discovered at south Edmonton intersection will take months to repair – Oct 19, 2020

In an update on its website earlier this week, EPCOR said it has finalized the plans for the repair, which include ordering a fiberglass pipe from Dubai.

“Due to the oval shape of the trunk line we are required to custom order a pipe,” reads the update.

“Measurements will be taken to procure a specially fabricated fiberglass pipe from Dubai that will be inserted into the trunk line to rehabilitate it. It will take approximately eight weeks for the fiberglass pipe to be manufactured and delivered to Edmonton.”

A spokesperson with EPCOR said Wednesday morning there aren’t any manufacturers in Canada that have the ability to construct this specific pipe. Having the pipe manufactured in Dubai “provided the most expedited option,” according to the company.

While crews wait for the arrival of the pipe, they will begin to fill the void and stabilize the area. EPCOR said a “balloon-like” device will be used to plug the hole in the trunk line. Once the hole above the line is filled, a soil stabilization study will be completed to ensure the road is safe.

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Click to play video 'South Edmonton intersection with sinkhole will be closed until May 2021' South Edmonton intersection with sinkhole will be closed until May 2021
South Edmonton intersection with sinkhole will be closed until May 2021 – Dec 2, 2020

Once the pipe arrives from Dubai, it will be installed in the trunk line in segments and grouted into place.

It’s now expected that the work will be completed and the road reopened in May 2021. However, EPCOR said “the work and timelines are estimates and may change based on safety and work conditions and the condition assessment of the drainage infrastructure as the project progresses.”

Typical hours of work will be from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday. EPCOR said it has been monitoring noise levels and will do everything possible to manage the noise.

The intersection will remain closed until the work is complete.

A map of the road closures and detours due to a massive sinkhole at 61 Avenue and 109 Street in south Edmonton. Credit, EPCOR

EPCOR said there is no structural risk to homes or businesses in the area.

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More information about the project, along with a full list of the road closures and detours, can be found on EPCOR’s website.