City of Mount Gambier Council is working with a concreter to fill a sizeable sinkhole that opened up in a local walkway.
Council says the cavity first appeared when the bitumen collapsed following heavy rain in June 2023. Since then, an independent geotechnical investigation has been undertaken by engineering consultants, providing recommendations to fill the void that has a footprint of about 30 square metres.
“Due diligence on this solution has taken some time. Following independent advice, we are filling the cavity with stabilised sand, a mixture of soil and four to six per cent concrete,” said Council Infrastructure General Manager, Barbara Cernovskis.
“We had heavy machinery on site on Wednesday 17 January 2024 to drill down to the void at two locations. The void was identified using a camera and a torch lowered down on a rope. We have now filled the augured holes with concrete which is an extra wet mix so it flowed into the voids in the underground cavity.
“Today we built up the base of the sinkhole with 30 cubic metres of stabilised sand to 2.5 metres below ground level. The filled material will now be left to set. Next week we will continue to add 90 cubic metres of engineered fill, similar to road fill material and then reseal the top so the walkway surface is reinstated.
“We are confident that once works to stablilise the site are complete, it will be safe to return the thoroughfare to the community.”
Ms Cernovskis said walkway access to the Railway Lands will be reviewed once the work is complete.
“Depending on how things settle, we plan on reopening the throughfare in the next week or so,” she said.
Council is continuing to work with adjoining property owners to ensure safety within the vicinity of the impacted area.
“We will install a crack monitoring system on the wall of the neighbouring business to monitor any further ground movement or settlement during the next 12 months,” Ms Cernovskis said.
Total remediation work costs for the project are sitting at approximately $160,000.