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Area Near Contra Costa Road Washout Secured For Safety

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KPIX) -- Authorities in Contra Costa County on Thursday have secured the area around a major road washout that happened earlier this week to keep curious local residents safe.

Drivers and cyclists in the East Bay have been dealing with the road closure.


Alhambra Valley Road near the intersection with Pinole Valley Road and Castro Ranch Road  was completely washed out by the storm-swollen Pinole Creek Tuesday night at around 10 p.m.

The washout has cut off a popular short cut between Martinez and the city of Pinole. And it's not just affecting cars.

"We thought we could just cross a little bit of water and keep going, said local cyclist David Tom. So what used to be a loop is now a horse shoe ride."

The county has secured the area to keep people away from the edge of the sinkhole.

A six-foot fence is being erected. It is not clear how far back the unstable soil extends. Engineers are on scene to try and determine just how much damage has been done.

Nearly 100 feet long and more than 30 feet deep, the giant gap is attracting curious folks from around the area, becoming something of a tourist attraction.

Even though the washout is not within her city's limits, Pinole Mayor Debra Long showed up to assess the damage.

"They've got everything in place to protect all of us, to protect the looky loos," said Long. "Because we all want to be lookie loos, and I'm confident that this will be taken care of in a very quick manner."

Contra Costa County officials tell KPIX 5 that with a hole this size, it is going to be several months before the road is reopened.

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