Sinkhole big enough to swallow a car opens in southeast Calgary

Click to play video: 'Broken drain valve creates giant sink hole in Calgary'
Broken drain valve creates giant sink hole in Calgary
WATCH: Crews spent most of the day Wednesday working on a gaping sink hole in southeast Calgary. As Adam MacVicar reports, the city has done some digging and now knows what happened. – May 24, 2023

City of Calgary crews have gotten to the bottom of what caused a massive sinkhole in a southeast community on Tuesday.

People in the neighbourhood of Cranston told Global News the sinkhole came out of nowhere and caught a lot of people by surprise.

The crater, which opened up in the intersection of Cranston Blvd and Cranston Drive S.E., has drawn curious onlookers from around the neighbourhood.

“That’s huge.  You could lose a big vehicle,” said Kathy Deis, who stopped by to take a look.

City crews arrived at the scene on Wednesday and began excavating around the sinkhole before determining what caused the road to give way.

A broken drain valve on a water feature in a nearby park is believed to be behind the sinkhole.

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“It’s a windmill that has a fountain at the bottom,” Ward 12 Coun. Evan Spencer said. “It sounds like the lines that service that likely will have been the issue.”

According to city officials, the water for the fountain was turned on around noon Tuesday, and the water was running for up to seven hours before the sinkhole formed in the street.

“(Sinkholes) can quickly develop, especially with a large amount of water running,” City of Calgary drinking water distribution, repair and maintenance leader Lee Dupras told reporters. “Running water does tend to take fines away underground quite quickly.”

Fortunately, drinking water for neighbouring homes is unaffected by the sinkhole.

Crews spent much of the day Wednesday stripping away pavement to determine if there are any other voids under the road caused by the water leak.

“Now we’re just trying to rectify the problem we have on the roadway and rehabilitate it, so we can re-open the road,” Dupras said.

Repairs are expected to take a few days and road detours will remain in place until the work is completed.

The City of Calgary has put up barriers and safety measures around the sinkhole but the city is still asking people to avoid the area and if you are in the area to use caution.


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