Crews were still working at the scene of a possible sinkhole on the Yellowhead Trail on Thursday, and it remains unclear if the road will be repaired for the Friday morning commute.
“It’s all hands on deck,” said Caitlin Zerebeski, a general supervisor of infrastructure maintenance for the city, speaking during another torrential downpour on Thursday afternoon.
“We’re working around the clock to get the road back open.”
But the continued precipitation has delayed the work. Zerebeski said it’s not clear if there is indeed a sinkhole at the location.
“There’s a small heave in the road. There’s some concern with where the water has seeped under that. We’re ensuring the integrity of the road is intact,” she said.
Epcor crews were still at the site on Thursday afternoon, and it wasn’t expected that city road crews would be able to work on the site until the early morning hours of Friday.
The city is recommending commuters take other routes.
Still answering calls
Meanwhile, Epcor continued to respond Thursday to calls for assistance.
“We’re still responding to calls now,” said Anthony Nardi, director of drainage operations for Epcor. “Calls such as dislodged manhole covers and sewer troubles.”
The utility company received 222 calls for service between 6 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday.
Nardi said it’s impossible to know when the drainage system will fully absorb the almost 40 millimetres of rain that Environment Canada said fell Wednesday night.
Yellowhead Trail at St. Albert Trail remained closed Thursday due to a sinkhole in an underpass that flooded during the rainstorm.
“We are currently working with the city to determine the full scope of work for the road repair,” Nardi said. “And it’s too early to comment on timelines at this point.
“There’s significant damage to the road, and then water issues that also have to be dealt with in terms of draining them.”
Meanwhile, paths through the river valley were littered with puddles, and only the bravest cyclists were making their way through the pouring rain. The Ramsay Ravine trail, which runs through to MacKinnon Ravine, was closed in multiple areas where mud and debris slid onto pathways or the pathway itself crumbled from erosion.
Spokesperson Suzzette Mellado said in an emailed statement engineering design and environmental regulatory approvals are still in progress as the city takes on measures to permanently repair the trail.
Please use caution on River Valley trails while City crews review trail conditions following last night’s storm. So far, we have closed trails in Ramsay and Mill Creek Ravine. Please visit <a href=”https://t.co/8uADVzLpgJ”>https://t.co/8uADVzLpgJ</a> for up to date information. <a href=”https://t.co/3sgvyylfUq”>pic.twitter.com/3sgvyylfUq</a>
The Mill Creek Ravine lower trail has also been closed due to flooding; it will reopen as soon as crews can remove fallen trees.
Environment Canada said the rain is expected to continue through Friday.