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Council is still doing tests on A41 sinkhole – but there's no reopening date for road yet

The sinkhole forced part of Whitchurch Road to close on July 13

A hole has appeared on the A41 near Christleton, Chester(Image: Mark Smith)

Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is still conducting tests on a sinkhole that opened up on a major road in Chester over a month ago.

Part of the A41 Whitchurch Road in Christleton was forced to close because of the collapse on July 13, which was caused by a leak from a nearby canal, and there is still no word on when it will be fully back in action.

Previous attempts at repair have not been able to stop water flowing into the hole, and further testing of the canal has been necessary in an attempt to identify an exact position of the source of the leak.

Clle Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said temporary traffic signals have been moved as close to the hole as possible in order to minimise the work area.

“We engaged a local geotechnical engineering firm to test the area around the hole and initial results suggest that the hole is not much bigger than the extents visible at the surface," she explained.

"The tests have ruled out the possibility of a leaking water main being the cause of the water flow. Soil tests will inform the design of the repairs to the hole when the flow of water has been stopped.

"It is likely that a further amount of material will require removal to get to more solid ground to then build back up again before the road can be resurfaced."

A hole has appeared on the A41 near Christleton, Chester(Image: Mark Smith)



Cllr Shore added: "The Canals and Rivers Trust have installed a section of sheet pile along the bank of the tow path that dye testing indicated was the point of the leak. This repair, while slowing the flow of water into the hole in the A41 has not stopped it altogether and water can still be seen entering the hole.

"Welsh Water has re-surveyed to see if the water is still leaking onto their sewer now that the water level in the hole has dropped slightly. Flow into the sewer is still visible but not as fast as it was before the repairs were made to the tow path. Welsh Water is unable to make a detailed inspection of the sewer and manhole chamber while there is such a flow into the sewer.

"Further testing of the canal is taking place in an attempt to identify an exact position of the source of the leak with a view to carrying out further work to seal the canal.

"Repairs are likely to be required to the manhole chamber before the hole can be backfilled and the road resurfaced. These works will require careful planning to ensure no further damage occurs to the sewer, road and the other underground services in the area. "

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