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Repairs nearly complete on sinkhole near Oakhurst schools, road to reopen by 5 p.m. Thursday

Madera County Road Department workers look at a pipe connected to the culvert that rotted out and broke open, causing the hole to rupture on Road 427. The hole was expected to be repaired, and the road reopened by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Madera County Road Department workers look at a pipe connected to the culvert that rotted out and broke open, causing the hole to rupture on Road 427. The hole was expected to be repaired, and the road reopened by 5 p.m. Thursday. Sierra Star

Crews with Madera County Public Works on Thursday were finishing repairs to a sinkhole that broke open on School Road (427) in Oakhurst earlier this week, and the road should be reopened to all traffic by 5 p.m., Director Ahmad Alkhayyat said.

Alkhayyat said workers were finishing the repaving process after replacing a culvert and filling the damaged roadway with a mixture of gravel, asphalt, and other usual repair materials. The hole was caused by a 24-inch culvert under the road that rotted away, which ruptured the asphalt through leaky pipes, Alkhayyat said..

The hole, which broke open Tuesday, started as 12 inches in diameter, a short distance from the intersection with School Road and Pierce Drive, near Oakhurst Elementary School. Throughout the repair process, road crews had to dig about five or six feet into the ground, and several feet across, in order to reach affected portions of the road.

Detours for drivers headed towards Yosemite High School or Oak Creek Intermediate from Crane Valley Road (426) were put in place, but will be lifted, Akhayyat said.

Alkhayyat estimated the total cost of the project around $10,000 - $15,000, with no impacts to the county’s general fund as it budgets for road maintenace projects each year.

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