Lafayette city leaders said Tuesday that they expect a massive sinkhole caused by heavy rain earlier this month to be repaired by Christmas Day.
The city has hired C.C. Myers, a renowned emergency freeway contractor, to fill the 15-foot-deep sinkhole on Mountain View Drive, City Manager Steve Falk said. Repair work on the sinkhole began this morning.
The giant hole formed after a Dec. 2 storm pelted the area with rain and eroded a large portion of the roadway.
Falk said he originally expected to have the sinkhole filled by as late as this summer, but that the City Council moved to hire C.C. Myers to complete the repairs as soon as possible.
"I think what really motivated the council to get going on this was the fact that the detour created delays to emergency personnel in the event of 911 calls," Falk said.
Rather than wait six months or longer to go through a contractor bidding process, he said, the council decided to hire C.C. Myers, Inc., which has a solid history of completing large-scale emergency projects, he said.
The emergency roadway construction firm has handled a wide range of major projects after California catastrophes, including freeway repairs in the wake of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the replacement of a fire-damaged portion of the MacArthur Maze that disintegrated after a gas truck crashed and caught fire in 2007.
Falk said the city will pay up to $600,000 for the sinkhole repairs. City officials have not yet determined how to fund the project, but Falk said a mix of grant funding and insurance coverage may be used.
In addition to blocking a connector street for a few different neighborhoods in the area, the gaping hole created by the recent storm is also blocking a driveway for one resident -- newly elected Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson, Falk said.
"I think of all the people in town, he's probably the best person to have that problem ... he understands the constraints we work under," the city manager said.
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