07/03/2012 11:47 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Part of Manitoba highway collapses, causing big hole and big traffic headaches

INGLIS, Man. - Part of a Manitoba highway has been closed after a large section of it collapsed.

The collapsed portion of Highway 83 is 19 kilometres north of Inglis and 29 kilometres south of Roblin in the Shell River Valley just after the turnoff to Highway 366 near Inglis.

Highway 83 between Roblin and Russell is closed.

Rick Goraluk, a councillor with the Rural Municipality of Shellmouth, said crews had been working to fix problems with Hwy 83 for several days when a large section of road collapsed on Sunday.

Goraluk said the hole is more than four metres deep in places, and he speculates a recent storm may have washed away part of the unstable road.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation said they could not give an estimate of when the road will be fixed, but said it could be closed for some time.

"It’s still moving, so it’s not going to be a quick fix," said Larry Halayko, director of contract services for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation.

Halayko said the road has been plagued with problems since its construction in the 1960s, and that the department has been working on a solution.

Allison Zimmer, who lives in Inglis, was driving on the highway Saturday morning and noticed how much the road had dropped.

"I was a little nervous coming back," she said, adding the road had dropped two feet then. "You could tell it was starting to give way."

Karen Goraluk, who runs the Asessippi Beach & Campground with her husband Rick, said she’s worried about the effect of the road closure on business.

"Everyone coming from the south will have to be diverted," she said. "Of course we’re concerned."

She said the road will be a deterrent for people coming to the campground, especially if they don’t want to take gravel roads.

"It’s going to be a long time before they fix it," she said.

(Winnipeg Free Press)