The source who requested anonymity provided details of the sinkhole a substantial time ago but The Bulldog withheld the information so as to protect the person’s identity.
In the highly technical report, the City of Ottawa has a picture of the sinkhole with a large city water main intact but no soil surrounding it. After the sinkhole appeared the city water main eventually collapsed unleashed a large torrent of water into the collapsed light-rail tunnel that was being dug beneath Rideau Street at the time the sinkhole appeared.
The city maintains in the voluminous report that no city infrastructure cause the collapse of Rideau Street.
“City infrastructure had nothing to do with the sinkhole,” the source said.
The municipality has withheld the controversial report because it says it fears the information in the document could be used by lawyers representing organizations suing the city. However all evidence must be exchanged between opposing lawyers before the case goes to court. That means secrecy of the sinkhole report would be breached by legal process.
The Rideau Street sinkhole was the second major one to appear in the construction of the $2.3-billion Confederation Line. Both sinkholes, the previous one appeared on Waller Street, didn’t cause any loss of life or major injuries. Water inundated the tunnelling and set back construction of the huge plan. Nevertheless the city still maintains the project is on-time and on-budget.
In the early stages of light-rail planning, tunnelling was shortened by about a third because the city discovered, through bore holes, sandy soil in Sandy Hill.
Interestingly Rideau Transit Group has decided not to bid on Stage 2 of the $6-billion Ottawa LRT project. That’s highly unusual because organizations that start huge infrastructure projects usually finish subsequent stages because they know best the technical configuration of the part already completed.
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