Complications with Moraga sinkhole delay repair

Repair work has not begun in a sinkhole in Moraga that interrupted gas service to 2,500 PG&E customers on Sunday, police said Friday.

Engineers are still investigating the problem, which is complicated by the presence of numerous utilities in the hole that opened up at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Rheem Boulevard and Center Street.

A 4-inch gas line ruptured when a traffic signal pole fell into the hole at 5 p.m., according to police.

PG&E spokesman Nick Stimmel said at 3 p.m. on Tuesday that gas service had been restored to 90 percent of the 2,500 customers affected.

Workers have since opened up the hole and cut the sides at an angle to allow workers inside without fearing the sides will cave in on them, police said.

The traffic signal pole and concrete foundation as well as a PG&E electrical switch vault was removed to provide access for repairs.

Inside the hole workers have found a 96-inch corrugated metal storm drain, a 27-inch reinforced concrete storm drain, a bank of Comcast conduits filled with fiber optic cable, traffic signal electrical lines, a 4-inch gas line and two unclaimed utility pipes.

Adjacent to the sinkhole are a 15-inch sewer pipe and a 12-inch East Bay Municipal Utility District water line, according to police.

Crews will be working to divert rainwater away from the hole should it rain today or Sunday. Water could further damage the utilities in the sinkhole and delay repair work, according to police.

The area has been secured with a temporary fence and police are asking people to avoid the area. Police have adjusted the area’s traffic pattern, which seems to be working well, police said.

Both area shopping centers are open.