If your commute takes you along the north end of Production Way in Burnaby, you better make alternative plans for at least the next week.
Thanks to the sinkhole that opened up on the road Friday (Nov. 13) morning, repairs will close the street for at least the rest of this week. That would be a best case scenario according to city officials, who note the road could be closed for up to two weeks.
City crews were called to the section of Production Way between Broadway and East Lake after a large sinkhole appeared in several spots.
One three-foot-deep hole swallowed the back wheels of an articulated bus along the stretch of road. The road was shut down as a safety precaution.
And after a weekend of investigation, the cause of the sinkhole has been determined.
James Lota, an assistant engineering director with the City of Burnaby, said heavy rains that day “overwhelmed” the drainage system leading to the sinkhole.
He told the NOW the sinkhole was not related to any other projects or construction occurring in the area.
However, Lota did suggest the situation could be related to the windstorm from August, adding the storm blew debris into creek beds and now the rains are washing that debris into culverts.
“It’s just an accumulated effect from the weather over the last few months,” he said.
It’s also been a tough couple weeks for city crews in the area due to stormy weather.
Last month, while work was being carried out on the Stoney Creek rehabilitation project, heavy rains forced sediment into a tributary after a bypass pump failed and also washed out a section along Kinder Morgan’s pipeline on Gaglardi Way, leaving it exposed.
Lota said the city does have extra resources on hand at this time of year to watch for flooding.
“Every time we expect heavy rain, our crews go out to do flood watches, to make sure all the culverts and drainage systems and catch basins are unplugged to make sure the drainage flows when it should,” he said, adding it’s the flash flooding events that cause the most havoc to infrastructure.
As for the bus, no one was hurt, and both the passengers and the bus operator were safely evacuated.