REPAIRS to a Sheffield road which collapsed as contractors worked on a city school could cost as much as £1 million - and the Health and Safety Executive may prosecute if the landslip is found to have been avoidable.
A section of pavement next to a bus stop on Glossop Road, Broomhill, was swallowed up by the ground alongside King Edward II School, where land has been excavated as part of a £20 million building project.
The collapse happened on Tuesday, and investigations are still taking place into how it occurred and how the road can be reconstructed.
In the meantime the road is open uphill only and bus services are being diverted.
Shops and businesses on Glossop Road say passing trade has reduced significantly.
The Star understands the cost of reconstruction will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds - and could even reach £1 million, depending upon the type of repair required.
Work could become particularly expensive if concrete pilings are needed to build foundations for a new retaining wall.
The contractor employed on the school project, Vinci, had dug out the embankment below the road as part of work to build an extension to the school close by.
A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “We are continuing our investigation into the cause of the collapse, which will also establish how the road can be reconstructed. It is expected to conclude by the end of next week.
“The cost of the damage has not been determined and will depend on the type of repair.
“We do not yet know how long it will take for the repairs to be done and the road to be fully reopened.”
The council has not yet determined whether anyone is to blame for the collapse and whether any efforts could have been taken to avoid it. There was no-one waiting at the usually busy bus stop when witnesses said the ground ‘rumbled’ and collapsed.
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive confirmed it has launched an investigation.
He said: “We are aware of this incident and are investigating.
“We have staff who are going out to the site, with council workers, to examine the collapse.
“Depending upon the conclusion to the investigation further action could be taken, including prosecution, if any party is deemed responsible.”