EMERGENCY work is underway after a sinkhole was discovered in a Colchester street.

Essex County Council engineers were replacing the road surface in a section of Plume Avenue when they discovered it was subsiding.

They are now digging down to at least three feet deep to try and shore up the road and all of the utilities running through it.

The road was initially meant to be closed until today, after works began on Monday, July 25.

But it is now not scheduled to reopen until the end of the week.

Resident Ron Levy said: “They came along to do surface repairs and then they realised there was something wrong with the area underneath the road and it had actually sunk. It’s an absolute mess.

“They must have called in a surveyor when they saw it and he has ordered the whole lot to come up so they could see and repair the damage.

“They’ve now got this huge digger lifting up the curbstones so they can get underneath.”

The section of the road between Shrub End Road and All Saints Avenue is shut.

It is not yet known what has caused the subsidence.

There are a number of tunnels running underground in Colchester, but it is not known if one is near Plume Avenue.

Mr Levy said he has his own suspicions about the cause.

He said: “The nearby One Stop Shop has very big lorries making deliveries.

“They park outside the shop along the road and several times repairs have had to be made to the curbstones because they get crushed.

“I think the heavy lorries might have caused the sinkhole.

“When these shops are put in, something needs to be done to make sure huge lorries cannot make deliveries to them.

“The roads can’t handle them and it leaves the taxpayer having to pay for expensive repairs.”

Tesco, which owns One Stop, was unavailable for comment.

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “We are working to ensure that the road is level before carrying out resurfacing work in a few days’ time.

“We found that water drainage was washing out some of the materials underneath the surface of the road, so we had to repair the drains and then rebuild the surface.”