Portobello Rd sinkhole to be filled as temporary measure

Traffic is detoured around a sinkhole that has opened up in Portobello Rd at Turnbulls Bay on...
Traffic is detoured around a sinkhole that has opened up in Portobello Rd at Turnbulls Bay on Otago Peninsula. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
A sinkhole in Portobello Rd, at Turnbulls Bay, is to be temporarily filled so the road can be safely returned to two-way traffic over the holiday period.

However, Dunedin City Council transport delivery manager Ben Hogan said the sinkhole was caused by a partially collapsed stone culvert beneath the road, and would have to be replaced.

He reassured the community the retaining wall at Turnbulls Bay was still structurally sound.

The sinkhole.
The sinkhole.
The sinkhole, which was about 20cm in diameter, appeared near the intersection with Moerangi St in late October, he said.

Since then, the eastbound lane had been fenced off and the remaining lane was being controlled by temporary traffic lights.

‘‘The culvert is about 8m deep at the point of collapse, which means it is not an easy fix.

‘‘We have been working to devise a solution that is safe, cost-effective and causes the least disruption possible to residents and road users.

‘‘After a comprehensive risk assessment, we have concluded that we can fill the sinkhole, safely return the road to two-way traffic in early December and keep it open over the holiday period.’’

The culvert would be replaced as part of work next year on the Broad Bay to Turnbulls Bay section of the Peninsula Connection project, Mr Hogan said.

The work was recently put out to tender and was expected to be awarded in January.

‘‘Including the culvert replacement as part of the Peninsula Connection work means that we can take advantage of contractor efficiencies and minimise disruption to road users.’’

The majority of the work would be road/path construction.

It was expected to start early next year, and be completed before April 2023, he said.



Sadly many residents predicted this would happen when it was built. Water was draining through as the bank was exposed. Since the the new road/ shared pathway has opened it has been an series of repairs, abandoned roadworks, stopages and continual disruption for residents. The road is in broad bay is deteriorating with potholes developing. The cycle way through the broad bay beach reserve is down right dangerous. The whole thing is a mess.



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter