From Sen. Glazer’s Office:
Walnut Creek – Sen. Steve Glazer on Thursday praised CalTrans and the Federal Highway Administration for quick approval of needed funding to reimburse the Town of Moraga for its expenditures related to a massive sinkhole that temporarily left thousands without service.
If all requested funds are determined to be eligible, Moraga will be reimbursed 100 percent for the $545,700 that it has spent in responding to the emergency, including road closure, traffic control, erosion protection, fencing, traffic signals and work associated with a gas line rupture. Moraga is also eligible to receive an additional $2.6 million to cover 89 percent of the $2.9 million in estimated costs to permanently restore the area affected by the sinkhole.
The sinkhole, 15-feet wide by 20-feet long by 15-feet deep, swallowed a sidewalk on Rheem Boulevard near Center Street on March 13. A traffic signal pole fell into the hole, breaking a 4-inch gas distribution line, knocking out service to thousands of residents.
“The quick response by CalTrans Director Malcolm Dougherty and the Federal Highway Administration is an example of government responding to the needs of people, and for that I’m very grateful,” Glazer said. “The sinkhole was an emergency that needed to be addressed immediately for the safety of Moraga’s residents. Credit should go to state and federal officials and the Town of Moraga for finding common ground to make and fund repairs.”
The initial application for funding assistance was denied, but was later approved after Sen. Glazer, D-Orinda, and Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-Dublin, helped Moraga appeal the decision.
To meet Federal Highway Administration guidelines for financial assistance, Moraga’s initial plan to award a contract for construction will be delayed, town officials said. If permanent restoration work can’t be completed before the start of the rainy season in mid-October, Moraga officials pledged to secure the work site and divert storm water until the project can resume.