Raymond Brown - A mysterious underground cavern has been discovered by engineers working on sewer repairs in Cambridge city centre.
The presence of the subterranean chamber, which lies just yards from a Cambridge University college, has baffled workers from Anglian Water and could mean further weeks of traffic misery.
Measuring 30ft deep and 20ft long, the vault lies just under the surface of St Andrew’s Street between Emmanuel College and John Lewis in the Grand Arcade.
It is this, rather than a collapsed sewer, that caused a depression to appear in the road. Work at the site was expected to end next week but now it could continue into the run-up to the festive season.
Whoever built the concrete chamber also sliced a sewer pipe in half – taking away six metres of the tube – and then attempted to repair it using a hose.
Water company bosses said the chamber had been built “right on top of a Victorian clay pipe” and that it had been constructed “recently”.
John Clare, a spokesman for Anglian Water, said: “It’s very mysterious. We don’t know who built this. The engineers are baffled. The sewer has not collapsed as we thought – it has been effectively removed by a third party.
“Unsurprisingly, their attempt to join two ends of a nine-inch sewer with a piece of hose was hopelessly inadequate and the sewer has stopped working completely.
“Sadly, this means work will go on for longer than we thought. Two weeks would have been enough if this had been a simple sewer collapse. Instead, we no longer have a sewer to repair. ...
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