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Posted on: May 8, 2023

Yuba Water taking action to repair sinkhole on Ostrom Road

A large sinkhole on a country road with two men looking into it.

Yuba Water Agency is implementing emergency repairs to Ostrom Road between Virginia Road and South Beale Road in Yuba County after a culvert that ran under the road failed, causing a sinkhole. The repair is expected to take six to eight weeks and will require Ostrom Road remain closed until construction is complete.

The culvert is owned and maintained by Yuba Water and provides irrigation water to farmers in southern Yuba County. The aging culvert was planned for repairs, but as water deliveries began for irrigation season, leaks began to erode the infrastructure around it, leading to the sinkhole.

“Yuba County recently redid this portion of Ostrom Road and did an excellent job,” said Ryan McNally, Yuba Water’s director of water resources and flood risk reduction. “It’s unfortunate that this took out a stretch of brand-new road, but we are so grateful that no one was hurt.” 

McNally says Yuba Water will make sure this repair is up to the same high quality of the county’s road replacement.

The agency made partial improvements to the aging pipe last year and had planned to make additional improvements over this past winter, which would have prevented this failure. However, that work was delayed when no qualified contractors submitted bids for the project. The timing of the work was also a factor.

“We typically have a narrow window of time during the winter months to avoid interfering with harvest and springtime irrigation,” McNally said. “That small construction window can be a challenge, especially in a wet year like this. Now, we’ll make the repairs immediately – but this will not be a band-aid. We will make the permanent fix now.”

Yuba Water will cover the full cost of the repair in partnership with the South County irrigation districts; no taxpayer dollars will be used for the work.

Yuba Water will use a pump to get irrigation water over the road during construction to ensure local farmers and ranchers continue to receive water in the coming weeks. 

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