08/06/2013 09:49 EDT | Updated 10/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Montreal sinkhole repair in busy thoroughfare could be tricky

Crews were still trying to figure out the best way to remove a precariously perched backhoe stuck in the middle of a giant sinkhole that emerged in the middle of one of Montreal’s busiest thoroughfares Monday.

The sinkhole opened up Monday morning as city workers were readying to inspect a leaky sewer pipe under Ste-Catherine Street near Guy Street.

The backhoe, with a worker inside, fell into the collapsed portion of the roadway. The driver escaped uninjured.

Gaz Metro crews are at the site Tuesday to shut down all gas lines to the area to facilitate with the removal of the vehicle.

A crane is expected to be brought in Tuesday afternoon after testing of nearby roadways confirmed they are stable enough to support its weight.

The hole, just the latest in a series of large sinkholes gobbling up Montreal streets, continues to draw a steady stream of onlookers, though the area remains closed to vehicle traffic.

It’s unclear how long the repairs will take, though work on a similar-sized sinkhole that formed last year on Sherbrooke Street closed a portion of the busy roadway for more than two weeks.