Lime Street was shut last week after workers peeled back bitumen to find this massive hole.
Lime Street was shut last week after workers peeled back bitumen to find this massive hole. Contributed

Mine shaft find closes Lime Street

A HOLE the size of a large dinner plate found in Lime Street last week looked at first like any other pothole in Gympie roads.

However on closer inspection the hole turned out to be the beginnings of an unmarked collapsed mine shaft big enough to swallow a man.

Mandy Wickson was visiting her mother when she noticed the hole in the bitumen along Lime Street.

A crack could be seen coming from the hole and forming a larger circle around it.

Mrs Wickson’s instincts told her to keep her distance while a passer-by threw a rock down the hole to see how deep it was.

“It took for ever for the rock to reach the bottom,” Mrs Wickson said.

Mrs Wickson rang the Gympie Regional Council and reported her find.

A resident said when the authorities peeled back the layer of bitumen around hole it was big enough to swallow a man.

The hole was about 1.5 metres square and thought to be around 250 metres deep.

Lime Street is between Normanby Bridge and the Mount Pleasant Hotel.

The area was extensively mined during the gold rush.

Yesterday the Gympie Mine Shaft Repair Project workmen were putting the finishing touches on the job of capping the mine.

To cap a mine shaft workers first dig a large square hole around the shaft.

Breather pipes are installed into the shaft, and then the hole is filled with reinforced concrete to cover the shaft.

The Lime Street collapse follows on from three collapses during March after a major rain event. Shafts opened up at Saint Patrick’s College and on private properties in Dent Lane and River Road.

The collapsed shaft at Saint Patrick’s College, near the school’s cricket nets, was named the Number 7 South Lady Mary underlie.

It, along with the Number 8 South Lady Mary underlie (also found on the College’s grounds), were some of the deepest shafts on the old Gympie Goldfields.

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