Storms create sinkholes, damage Bay Area highways

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ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Storms create mayhem on Bay Area highways
Bay Area roadways have been torn up by recent storms, creating sinkholes and other dangerous conditions that are costing drivers time and money.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The recent rains have taken a toll on Bay Area roads and freeways. A sinkhole appeared in one of the Southbound lanes of Highway 13 in Oakland, which did not only cause traffic backups but damaged people's cars.

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"this is the pothole dent," said Curtis Brownlee, whose car was banged up a lot in recent weeks. "I had to get a new rim."

His route to and from work has gotten worse due to all the rain. Plenty of potholes on Interstate 580 in Livermore put Caltrans crews on overtime.

"They need to fix it fast because I damaged the rim," said Brownlee. "I damaged the front of my car and I had to get fixed, the back of my car. The bumper got blown out."

Caltrans says it's deploying its crews as fast as it can, but they're struggling to keep up.

The rain affects the road in two ways: From the surface where tires squeeze water into the asphalt, causing it to break open, and below, where rainwater loosens the soil underneath.

"This has been one of the worst seasons for potholes and other road damage that we've seen in a long time," said Bob Haus, Caltrans spokesperson. "We haven't received this much rain this quickly."

"In the rain, you can't even see them," said driver Karina Bueno. "So once you're going, all you hear is, 'Boom' and that's it, and you're like,'What was that?'"

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Damage claims can be submitted on the Caltrans website. They're hoping motorists will take the time and be proactive. Scan ahead and slow down.