NEWS

Evergreen Line construction sinkholes prompt Port Moody community meeting

01/13/2015 11:20 EST | Updated 03/15/2015 05:59 EDT
Tensions flared at a meeting in Port Moody, B.C. for residents upset about two sinkholes they blame on the tunnel-boring machine digging the Evergreen Line construction.

Many are afraid for their personal safety after two sinkholes opened over the last few months — the first in the parking lot of a building on Chateau Place last fall and then a second one on Cecile Drive on Jan. 2.

The neighbours called for the community meeting on Tuesday morning, hoping to get information on the progress of the $1.4-billion project. But the meeting was postponed to Wednesday evening, so that more residents could attend. 

"There were no notices at all, don't lie to me, there were no notices," said Victor Point, one of the residents who showed up Tuesday.  

"You haven't walked down there. I've been living here for three to four years and I know these trees and I know some are tilting because of this digging," he said. 

Other residents say there have been cracks in their walls while some say the ground in their home is vibrating during construction.

"My understanding is that as soon as the pressurization is released from the front of the boring head, there's a potential of this happening again, and that's a concern for me and the residents," said Port Moody councillor Robert Vagramov. "What if this happens again underneath a house?"

Nazir Kurji, a spokesperson for EGRT Construction, said the company's technical experts will be at the meeting on Wednesday. 

 "We're aware of the residents concerns," he said. 

"I think tomorrow we would have the right people there to answer the questions about vibrations and what the next steps are."

According to the B.C. ministry of transportation, the sinkholes formed in areas that were already fenced off and consequentially, the public was not at risk.

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