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Sinkhole swallows Salter Street intersection

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A large sinkhole swallowed the concrete of a busy Winnipeg intersection Wednesday night.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/07/2022 (195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A large sinkhole swallowed the concrete of a busy Winnipeg intersection Wednesday night.

Salter Street at Inkster Boulevard was closed in both directions by city police, who described the sinkhole as “massive” in a tweet. The gaping hole was first noticed by a general patrol officer in the area.

Traffic heading eastbound and westbound on Inkster Boulevard opened roughly three hours following the initial closure, while the intersection remains blocked and surrounded by traffic barriers.

ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Salter Street at Inkster Boulevard was closed in both directions by city police, who described the sinkhole as “massive” in a tweet.

The City of Winnipeg said it believes the sinkhole was likely caused by a failure at a manhole.

“Voids can form when a pipe has become broken and the surrounding material starts to enter the sewer. Water main breaks or large rainfalls can exacerbate these issues. If a void becomes large enough, it can result in a sinkhole forming at the surface,” a spokesperson told the Free Press in an emailed statement Thursday.

“The city monitors sewer conditions with sewer televising, which helps detect issues before voiding begins.”

Emergency repairs on the crater have begun and will take up to a month to complete. Winnipeg police said they are unaware of any injuries related to the sinkhole.

It is just the latest issue with local roads this year, as city crews have already completed repairs on approximately 148,370 potholes, as of July 15.

Manitoba Public Insurance has reported 2,367 pothole-related damage claims this year, with 2,059 coming from Winnipeg. The number is already higher than any year in the previous decade, and far surpassed last year’s total of 329.

The month of April alone logged 884 pothole claims in the city, an eye-popping total compared to the 2019-21 average of 43 for the month, according to MPI.

The Crown corporation auto insurer said data related to if any claims have been made regarding the Salter Street sinkhole was not readily available.

The pedestrian crossing on Salter Street to cross Inkster Boulevard remains open.

bryce.hunt@freepress.mb.ca

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