REPAIRS to fill in a major sinkhole in Baildon will cost £100,000, with work expected to be completed by Christmas.

An area of pavement on a pedestrian crossing in Browgate gave way in September.

It was caused by the collapse of an uncharted culvert which runs more than 25ft below ground.

A Bradford Council spokesman said it was hoped that the repairs would be completed by Christmas, although that was dependent on weather conditions.

Contractors first had to stabilising the sides of the sinkhole to allow an eight-strong team to work in safety.

More than 200 tonnes of debris has been dug out by hand, the majority of which will be reused as backfill which reduces the environmental impact of the works.

An additional 50 tonnes of collapsed material, which had been washed 20 metres downstream, has been removed by hand and large lumps of demolition stone has been winched out and removed.

The work also included main gas pipes exposed by the sinkhole being shored up in October.

The last of the debris has now been cleared to enable repairs to pipeworks to begin.

The final repairs will feature two pieces of Victorian engraved stonework from the Mechanics’ Institute which were discovered during excavations.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, paid a visit to the site alongside Councillor Debbie Davies (Con, Baildon).

He thanked Baildon residents for their patience while the work continued.

Cllr Ross-Shaw said: “Our officers have been working very hard in extremely difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conditions to repair this sinkhole and bring the area back into use.

“I’d like to thank the people of Baildon for their patience and assure them everything is being done to turn this around quickly.”

Louanna Winch, Baildon Town Council clerk, said town residents might not have always been aware of the continuing repairs as the contractors were working underground.

She said: “The team of eight contractors has been working really hard, They have been working seven days a week.

“Bradford Council has asked for the work to be completed by Christmas.

“Hopefully we will see a lot of progress with it over the next two weeks and then they can fill in the hole.

“They are working so far down that people can’t see them. They have been shovelling the debris into buckets and winching them up.

“Hopefully the weather will help and not cause problems with the work that is going on.”