Sinkhole takes 9-metre bite out of Marine Drive Road expected to be closed until at least Tuesday
By Andrea Woo, Vancouver Sun December 12, 2010 9:00 PM
A sinkhole large enough to swallow a cube van opened up across three lanes of Southeast Marine Drive in Vancouver Sunday afternoon.
Nine metres (30 feet) long, 4.5 metres (15 feet) wide, and six metres (20 feet) deep, the hole appeared as the road crumbled inward around 2 p.m. in the eastbound lanes at Poplar Street, just west of Fraser Street.
A three-metre (10-foot) section of sidewalk formed an overhang into the pit, according to a statement from the City of Vancouver.
Freelance photographer Pascal Marchand described it as a "huge, square-shaped hole," that was "super deep."
"It looks like it collapsed on itself, as if there was nothing underneath," said Marchand, who was at the scene around 3 p.m. "There was a strong smell of gas all around."
No one was injured in the incident.
Southeast Marine Drive remained closed between St. George and Fraser streets overnight as crews worked to repair it.
A City of Vancouver bulletin sent out Sunday night said water service had been cut off to a low-rise apartment on the north side of Southeast Marine Drive at Fraser and the businesses on the south side of Southeast Marine between St. George and Fraser.
City crews were hoping to establish temporary water service by 10 p.m. Sunday night, and Terasen crews were working to re-establish gas service.
City spokeswoman Wendy Stewart said the cause of the sinkhole is not yet known, but a faulty water main is believed to be one reason.
Nearby residents reported turbid tap water before the sinkhole appeared, Marchand said.
A 7.6-centimetre (three-inch) gas line and a 30-cm (12-inch) water line were broken in the collapse, Stewart said.
The stretch of road is expected to be closed until at least Tuesday afternoon as excavators remove debris, and crews make repairs to the pipelines before refilling and paving the firstname.lastname@example.org
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