The collapse of Victoria-area sidewalk infrastructure for the second time in two weeks is no cause for alarm, officials say.
A City geotechnical engineer is working with the site’s developer to find out exactly what happened and how to move forward after earth, trees, hydro infrastructure, and 30 metres of sidewalk fell into an excavated hole. Workers had sprayed shotcrete and put soil anchors into the bank to support it during excavation of the former parking lot and future site of The Wade, a joint project between Amadon Group, Tenfold Projects and Fortress developers.
According to the city’s assistant director of transportation Brad Delleburr, the bank is now stable after the contractor filled the area against the wall.
“They did a bunch of work on the weekend to ensure [the area] was safe for the public and safe on the site,” he said. “The geotechnical engineer on site was monitoring the excavation over the weekend to see if there was any further signs of movement. It stabilized.”
The City is taking precautions, however, and the sidewalk and one lane will remain closed off for now. The geotechnical engineer has determined the second lane is far enough away from site to allow traffic to continue driving on the second lane on Johnson Street, said Delleburr.
This is the second significant collapse in a month after a retaining wall collapsed on Oak Bay Avenue near Fort Street, but Delleburr said the incidents are unrelated.
“It’s two different situations. It’s not something that you could say ‘this happened, so this happened.’ It’s just not comparing apples to apples,” he said.
When asked if these incidents represent a larger problem with Victoria’s infrastructure, he responded: “there is nothing to suggest that’s the case, no.”
The City did not indicate a timeframe for when the road and sidewalk will reopen.
– With files from Keri Coles