A sinkhole formed on 4th Avenue after heavy rainfall diminished the capacity of a culvert that runs below the road.

A sinkhole formed on 4th Avenue after heavy rainfall diminished the capacity of a culvert that runs below the road.

Heavy rainfall causes sinkhole along Ladysmith street

Heavy rainfall and the resulting erosion caused a sinkhole to form early Wednesday morning, forcing the partial closure of a road just down from the Festival of Lights building.

The depression, which was several feet wide, happened around 3 a.m. where the 4th Avenue crosses Rocky Creek.

Water levels are high due to rain that pounded much of Vancouver Island a day earlier and impacted a culvert that runs beneath the roadway.

“We think that there is some debris that just got across the front of the culvert and that diminishes the capacity of the culvert and the water rises up forces it’s way onto the road and chews away at the ground,” said the town’s director of infrastructure Geoff Goodall, who was on scene observing the road repair.

There is a gas main and water main in the areas so workers were carrying out some of the initial work as they waited for the arrival of a geotechnical engineer.

“Then we’ll start rebuilding this so we can get it done and the lanes opened up,” Goodall said.