A sinkhole that opened over a year ago in Seawatch Lane should be fixed by Sept. 21, Concordia Seawatch Ltd. and the District of Sechelt said this week.
That end-of-summer deadline was given to Concordia Seawatch Ltd. in May, after a year of discussions between the District and Concordia over who should be responsible to fix the problem.
While it doesn’t look like anything is being done at the location of the sinkhole right now, work is underway on the lower portion of the property, Sechelt Mayor John Henderson told Coast Reporter this week.
“One of the things about this kind of issue is that a lot of the stuff is, well, obviously underground, but it’s also not apparent,” Henderson said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of work that’s already been done down hill, below North Gale Road, towards the ocean.”
Concordia Seawatch co-owner Ron Davis confirmed work has been underway for weeks to fix the underground watercourse that has been deemed the reason for the sinkhole.
“The spring down on the waterfront was a mechanism by which the soils were dropped down into an underground stream and then they came out at the spring. It exhausted the sand so therefore the sinkhole came about,” Davis explained. “So we’ve treated the spring as per the drawings of the geotechnical engineer Golder and Associates’ requirements, and we have put that in place and it’s all seemingly working fine. The spring is slowly disappearing. It’s up to the geotechs when we can proceed to the next stage, but it’s looking like next week.”
Both the developer and the District are optimistic the sinkhole will be permanently fixed soon.
“We’re going forward as quickly as we possibly can,” Davis said. “We’re dealing with an active subsurface watercourse and we have to make sure that gets stopped before we can go to the next level, but I think it’s 90 per cent stopped already, so I think we are on course to get this thing finished.”
The approximately 1.5 metre wide, three metre deep sinkhole opened in June of 2012 in Seawatch Lane, a road put in by Concordia as part of their high-end Seawatch development in West Porpoise Bay.
At first the District of Sechelt responded to the issue, spending thousands of dollars investigating the cause of the sinkhole and trying to remediate the problem.
Despite that initial response, the District said Concordia would have to pay for a permanent fix, while Concordia maintained the District was responsible for the roadway. Soon both parties got legal counsel involved in the dispute.
In May 2013, an agreement was reached for Concordia to remediate the sinkhole and pay the District $75,000 to cover some of the costs they incurred trying to fix the issue.