Beds, Herts & Bucks

St Albans sinkhole movement tests to last a week

Fontmell Close Image copyright Hertfordshire County Council
Image caption Experts are monitoring ground movement near the sinkhole site in Fontmell Close

The results of tests for ground movement near the St Albans sinkhole will not be known until "at least the end of next week", a council has said.

The 33ft (10m) hole in Fontmell Close opened up on 1 October. Engineers have pumped in 48 lorry-loads of foamed concrete to fill it.

Hertfordshire County Council revealed the operation has so far cost £100,000 across all the agencies involved.

On Friday, engineers said they believed the ground was still moving.

Experts are continuing to monitor the site and underground surveys continue.

Image caption Cracks have appeared in the ground since concrete was poured in the hole

Temporary supplies are connecting the street's homes to electricity, water and sewerage pipes, but there is still no gas supply.

"The next steps will be for utility companies to make permanent repairs ahead of the road being resurfaced," a council spokeswoman said.

The timescale of the repairs and resurfacing is not yet clear.

There are still homes near the site of the sinkhole without any services, the council's spokeswoman added.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption The sinkhole is 33ft (10m) deep

Richard Thake, cabinet member for community safety at the local authority, said: "All agencies are continuing to work together to get residents back to their homes as soon as it is safe to do so.

"Our priority remains to ensure the safety of residents in the area and minimise disruption and to resolve the situation as soon as possible."

The council also encouraged people to stay away from the site as "only approved contractors and emergency access to the site is possible".

Image caption Temporary power lines have been set up to supply utilities to some houses on Fontmell Close

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