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Crews Work To Restore Creek Flow at Sinkhole Site

Lafayette casts a wary eye at the creek coursing through the sinkhole that split Mountain View Drive Sunday. Rain predicted for Tuesday evening and Wednesday.

With rain predicted for Tuesday evening into Wednesday, work crews on Tuesday were concentrating on restoring creek flow through the crevice that used to be a large culvert under Mountain View Drive in Lafayette.

"EBMUD stabilized the larger water line yesterday so we're now focused on restoring creek flow in advance of tonight's rain, and we've begun exploring options for installing a more permanent solution," wrote Lafayette City Manager Steve Falk in an email Tuesday.

Rainy Sunday's sinkhole opened up a 15-foot-deep, 40-foot-wide canyon (after the broken pavement was moved out) in the drive, where Lafayette Creek passes through. Contributing to the collapse was the rupture of a 12-inch-in-diameter water pipe Sunday.

"EBMUD stabilized the larger water line yesterday so we're now focused on restoring creek flow in advance of tonight's rain, and we've begun exploring options for installing a more permanent solution," Falk said Tuesday.

Detours take residents around the severed street. Filling in the canyon and rebuilding the street is expected to take months.

Informed Citizen December 05, 2012 at 03:24 AM
All Lafayette property owners have been paying a significant and specific property tax on their annual bills "City of Lafayette", an ad valorum tax dating back 15+ years, which was passed as a "Road and Drain" (read: creek) Tax, for maintenance and upgrades. As previously stated by observant Patch readers, our City collects our infrastructure taxes but ignores our creeks. They are part of our drain (rain runoff) system. This culvert collapsed and the road bed above it sunk, because it was sorely neglected. The lack of maintenance created erosion around the culvert pipe, which then impacted soils in the vicinity of the EBMUD main. It was triggered by heavy rains, but negligence and public defalcation caused this. Our city Staff runs out for photo opps with clipboards and hardhats, to make it appear to gullible citizens that they are working hard; "on the job". Yeah, right. Next, you will read about the shortage of funds to maintain our drains, our creeks, our roads. The very thing that they take millions for every year from us, is being spent for things like six-figure salaries and benefits packages, and for a staff that has only increased in cost and size, when every other private business has shriveled to the bone. You can bet that there will be a new tax proposed soon "to fix our failing roads/drains/creeks". And voters will not even read their property tax bills to see that their tax monies are never enough...And so it goes.
lovelafayette December 05, 2012 at 11:14 PM
@ IC Could not agree more with you, BUT WHERE is the tax money if it wasn' spent on "road and drains"? A local developer mentioned this same tax to me as money collected but not spent. This sinkhole was not an accident, but either a failure of Lafayette's public works department, city engineer, or homeowners. Who was responsible for preventing this disaster? Each home owner is responsible for maintenance of their section of the creek. Whose chest of drawers is that? Or is this a city responsibility? Last Month the city received a notice of violation of the Clean Water Act for illegal dumping into Las Trampas Creek. The reaction to that incident revealed that Parks and Public Works expect each other to clean the creeks; truth is no city agency maintains the integrity of the creeks. Specific pinch points on creeks/bridges/culverts are supposed to get an annual LPW inspection but these are often missed. Tax payers should be demanding to know what derelict city agency or personnel caused the sinkhole and the now unavoidable waste of $ to fix it. Start with when was the last time Public Works cleaned out the affected culvert. This is scheduled maintenance that we have been told is often not on schedule, but often a reaction to a calamity. I wonder if the same city engineer who concocted and designed the badly engineered and flawed round-about is on this project? The round-about was roundly rejected by all!

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