Independent report clears City of Ottawa in Rideau sinkhole

The massive, van-swallowing sinkhole that opened up on Rideau Street earlier this year was not the city’s fault, according to an external investigation the city commissioned. 

By Ryan Tumilty

The sinkhole opened up on Rideau Street near Sussex Drive earlier this year above where the Confederation Line’s tunneling was taking place. 

In a memo from the city’s solicitor Rick O’Connor to council that was released on Thursday, O’Connor said that they’re confident city infrastructure was not the problem.

“The city’s external technical experts were unable to pinpoint a singular cause of the event, but are confident, based on their analysis of all the available evidence, that the sinkhole was not precipitated by a failure of city infrastructure,” he said. 

O’Connor said the technical experts were unable to pinpoint an exact cause for a variety of reasons including “the need to quickly secure the site and stabilize the area of the collapse required filling the sinkhole with more than 3,000 cubic metres of concrete.”

Nevertheless, they are confident it was not the fault of city infrastructure. 

O’Connor also confirmed there are 31 claims from businesses and property owners related to the sinkhole and the city itself has made a $1.5 million claim for its additional costs. 

Those have all been forwarded to the project’s insurer and O’Connor said they may want to have a second look at the case. 

The project’s Insurer may decide to conduct its own investigation into the cause of the event as part of its review of the insurance claims.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.