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No Fix In Sight Over 5 Months After Moraga Sinkhole Opened

MORAGA (CBS SF) -- Even though it has been more than five months since massive sinkhole opened up in Moraga, crews are prepping the hole for winter rather than filling it in.

The original plan to fix it before the rainy season, but that plan has hit a roadblock.

Back on March 13, the 15 foot wide by 20 foot long sinkhole developed at the intersection of Rheem Boulevard and Center Street.

A traffic signal pole, a PG&E electrical switch vault, and a portion of the sidewalk fell into the sinkhole. The collapse ruptured a gas line forcing businesses to evacuate after a shelter in place was ordered.

"We had no electricity for two days, said one business owner.

Five months later, the sinkhole is still there, leaving Moraga residents wondering when it will finally be fixed.

"It's been too long. I don't know. What's the hold up?" said one driver.

Moraga Public Works Director Edric Kwan admitted the hole was a big priority that should have been taken care of already.

"Yes it is, and we do need to get it fixed. And were working very patiently with Caltrans," said Kwan.

But Caltrans says the federal funding will likely come next year. Despite being an upper-middle class East Bay town, Moraga wasn't able to cover the cost alone.

"We don't have that type of funding for these type of emergencies," said Kwan.

So Moraga has to move forward with Plan B. Crews will proceed with a contingency winterization plan, making sure underground pipelines are secure.

"That is a worse-case scenario," said Kwan. "We have no more options than to go out and winterize the site before the rainy season."

The sinkhole sits right on the corner of Xial Zheng auto repair shop. He is concerned about the impact the sinkhole will have on his business.

"I didn't think it would take this long," said Zheng. "I think initially they said one month."

CBS SF contacted Caltrans to find out why the repairs have been so slow, but have yet to receive a response.

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