Winter storms cause Bay Area roadway problems

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Winter storms continue to cause big problems for Bay Area roadways and several key commute routes.

Frustration keeps growing the longer Highway 37 stays closed to traffic. Officials said water pumps are running 24 hours a day, seven days a week to remove flooding on the highway.

For now, it's a losing battle. Water from several levee breaks keeps pouring in almost as fast as the water is pumped out and more rain is on the way this week.

PHOTOS: Major winter storms sweep across Bay Area

Caltrans is hoping to engineer a fix by raising the roadway and installing better drainage, which likely won't be done until February 24.

Connie Johnson commutes from Sonoma to Novato, a drive that's now taking too long. "There's a detour at Atherton Avenue, the back-up is an hour," Johnson said.

"All this rain is making things crumble down lately," Katrina Patton said.

In Oakland, Patton couldn't believe her eyes. A sinkhole almost swallowed up a BMW on east 27th Street, but luckily the car was towed out just in time. From the street, the hole is only about 6-feet wide, but dangerously deep.

"The man said it's 30 feet down, crazy, shocking," Patton said.

Water from a broken pipe underneath the deep sinkhole was gushing water.

Winter storms are to blame for the crumbling pavement.
"Once it dries up, we'll be fixing it. This will be a major repair," Oakland resident Wlad Wlassowsky said.

For now, east 27th Street is closed to traffic, indefinitely.

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