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Giant hole in Northfleet

PUBLISHED: 09:40 18 August 2011 | UPDATED: 09:40 18 August 2011

Dene Holm Rd Hole

Dene Holm Rd Hole

Archant

Motorists are being diverted in Northfleet after a mysterious road collapse which has left workmen scratching their heads.

Shopkeepers and motorists were surprised to discover a large section of Dene Holm Road had fallen in on Thursday morning and the road was closed to traffic.

Kent County Council sent out a team of contractors to try to uncover the cause of the 1ft deep hole which covers a large section of the road outside a row of shops, but to no avail.

Chalk caves

Jo Roberts, of All Season Florists, said: “It’s right out- side my shop. I’m not sure if it’s affecting the customers yet but they can certainly see the road is closed and we haven’t been told how long it’s going to take.

“I noticed it right away. It’s about half way across the road and about a foot deep.

“It was built on old denes, so maybe it’s been caused by one of those but it’s just a guess.”

Denes or dene holes are usually a series of underground chalk caves.

The council said the street was fairly old but its contractors were baffled as to the cause, although one theory was it had become water damaged.

A spokesman said: “We have since excavated to try to establish the cause of the collapse, but this is not yet known. An instruction has been given to our contactor to strengthen the area, re-pave and re-open the road as soon as possible.”

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