City officials say a water main break is the cause of a sinkhole that happened Monday morning on the south side of Thunder Bay.
The collapsed area on North Syndicate Avenue was about the size of a small car.
Nearby resident Julia Miller said she could hardly believe what she saw when she looked out her front window.
“Right away I said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve gotta move my car!’ It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“You could park your car there and next thing it’s in a sinkhole.”
Miller noted a tree nearby was in danger of falling into the hole.
City road crews were to repair the hole in the afternoon. A spokesperson estimated it would take about eight hours.
North Syndicate Avenue was closed between Cummings and Leith Streets in the meantime.
The road will be temporarily patched until summer, when a permanent repair can be made.
An acting supervisor for sewer and water maintenance for the city of Thunder Bay said a six inch water main ruptured, causing the cave-in.
“The water main was linking into the sanitary system, which had already broke[n] in the process,” David Warwick said.
“The age of the pipe often has things to do with it. As well, when the frost starts to come out of the ground, the ground shifts and moves and it will snap water mains underneath the ground.”
Warwick noted there was also a break on Leith Street at Syndicate Avenue this year
“The infrastructure in the area is older,” he said.
“But it’s tough to say if that’s what is causing breaks in this area.”
The engineering department will make a plan of what infrastructure needs to be replaced using information that the sewer and water department collects each time it works on damaged pipes.