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Crews have stabilized a sinkhole along Lake Drive in Cardiff. Photo by Steve Puterski
Crews have stabilized a sinkhole along Lake Drive in Cardiff. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Crews stabilize Cardiff sinkhole, repairs expected through April

ENCINITAS — Crews continue work to stabilize a sinkhole along Lake Drive in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, racing to make repairs as winter storms continue to bring significant precipitation to coastal North County. 

The sinkhole first appeared in late February after heavy rainfall, forcing the city to close Lake Drive to allow crews to start repairing the hole.

On March 10, the sinkhole grew even more after more than an inch of overnight rain worsened its conditions. Construction crews had to relocate all utilities such as gas, cable, electric and water before installing shoring to stabilize the sinkhole. 

Following even more rain this week, the large sinkhole has become an ongoing headache for the city. 

“Unfortunately, we aren’t able to determine the exact size of the sinkhole,” said the city’s economic development manager Portland Bates. 

Cardiff sinkhole

Cardiff sinkhole

Cardiff sinkhole
Sinkhole repairs are expected to continue through April. Photos by Steve Puterski

According to construction crew members on site, the sinkhole was created by a busted storm drain following large amounts of rainfall over the last few months.

Water also tore up a section of the bluff running for several hundred feet outside of the hole adjacent to Lake Drive. 

Bates said crews are now stabilizing the bottom of the sinkhole with rock and grout in anticipation of additional rain. Additionally, workers installed concrete and cross beams that held through the storm on March 15.

“The repair work on the sinkhole is still projected through April with updates indicating the sinkhole is doing fine during our current rain storm,” Bates said.

Crews must complete the shoring work, reconstruct the embankment, rebuild the drainage inlet and reconstruct the drainage pipe, stormwater detention basin, roadway and sidewalk before repairs are done. 

Recently, a section of San Elijo State Beach in Encinitas was also shut down on March 16 after a bluff collapsed beneath a campground. No injuries were reported in the incident. 

Encinitas isn’t the only North County city currently dealing with sinkholes. State Route 78 westbound at College Boulevard was closed due to a sinkhole, created by a failed 50-year-old culvert. 

Staff reporter Steve Puterski contributed to this report.