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Updated: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 14:34:15 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Ottawa sinkhole forms at intersection near tunnelling site



This sinkhole formed on Feb. 21, 2014 after a road collapse in downtown Ottawa. Photos courtesy of John Holtby and Brian Bancroft

This sinkhole formed on Feb. 21, 2014 after a road collapse in downtown Ottawa. Photos courtesy of John Holtby and Brian Bancroft

A sinkhole eight metres wide and 12 metres deep opened up at the construction site digging the eastern entrance to Ottawa's light rail tunnel.

The cause isn't yet known, city officials said. No one was injured.

​Ottawa police reported the sinkhole on Waller Street, just south of Laurier Avenue, at about 1 a.m. Police said the road collapsed leaving a hole on the Transitway near the University of Ottawa.

A news release from the City of Ottawa confirmed the sinkhole formed where workers had been tunnelling for the eastern portal of the Confederation Line LRT project.

It said work crews from the Rideau Transit Group had begun 24-hour tunnelling operations on Wednesday, and that they were working at the site when the sinkhole formed.

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At a news conference Friday, the city and Rideau Transit Group said they removed workers and pulled back the machines when material began to fall into the tunnel at about 10 p.m. ET Thursday.

Early stages of the investigation show the damage from the road collapse was localized, though, and there are no further issues, according to Lecia Stewart of the Rideau Transit Group.

Tunnel work suspended

The city said tunnelling operations are suspended while officials continue their investigation.

Rideau Transit Group officials have also started to fill the hole with concrete to stabilize it, the release added.

Water, sanitary and storm services to 50 Laurier Ave. were affected, because the city had to cut them off for the work.

Traffic and buses are being rerouted, and Laurier Avenue is closed eastbound between Queen Elizabeth Drive and Waller.

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