Great Bernal Sinkhole of 2011 Becomes Much Much Greater

Sure, it was a funny little joke at first. A pothole on Ellert near the intersection of Bennington opened a few weeks ago, and a neighborhood wag dubbed it “The Great Bernal Sinkhole of 2011.”

Well, there’s actually some truth to that, because since we first reported the story in early October, the hole has gotten bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER. As a neighbor posted recently on the bernalsafe mailing list:

There’s a small sinkhole which opened up a few weeks ago on Ellert just off Bennington. DPW seems to know about it, as they keep coming and patching it, but it always re-opens in a day or two.

Indeed, the fissure that started as a cute little pothole has now blossomed into a crater so massive it requires five heavy steel plates to cover. Adding to the spectacle, neighbors report that repair efforts only take place at night, beginning in the early evening and continuing until about 11 pm. It’s great fun if you’re a fan of  compressed-air tools and diesel machines; not so much if you’re trying to get some sleep.

Yet still the hole keeps getting bigger. On the bright side, Bernal Heights may soon have its very own express tunnel to China, which would offer numerous exciting opportunities for the expansion of commerce and local service industries — assuming it doesn’t engulf several of the surrounding homes first.

PHOTO: Telstar Logistics

14 thoughts on “Great Bernal Sinkhole of 2011 Becomes Much Much Greater

  1. I just hope it doesn’t intersect with the our small gauge train tunnel…oops. Seriously, I hope they figure this out soon. Wasn’t there a huge sinkhole on Cortland a couple years ago, down towards Mission? Or am I confusing that with construction that just made a big hole?

  2. You should have seen how it started: work crews cut a water line and water was gushing many feet high for a long time. They haven’t been able to fix it since then.

  3. I was thinking it may have started as the one in front of our house 120 Ripley in the middle of the street did some 30 years ago (and getting more aggressive by the year) due to a leak in the sewer. Da City says nothing (other than a periodic bag or two of asphalt) will be done to fix it, until something big, like a car, falls into it. But I see the Ellert Hole was caused by a broken water main.

  4. The DPW guys told me the other night it is, in fact, a broken sewer line that’s undermining the street. Of course they could just be saying that to throw us off the trail … my pet theory is there’s cave deep, deep under Bernal where there’s a Goonies-esque barbary pirate ship and some secret waterway that leads out to The Bay. (It would be extra-cool if it were guarded by a Kraken….)

    (And, before anyone asks, no, I don’t have way too much free time on my hands… I am just waiting for a LOT of iPhone code to compile while I work out on the patio here at Progressive 🙂 )

  5. WhatI find interesting is that all the work has been happening after 3pm and often up until 8pm in the evening. My guess is this “after regular hours” work, aka overtime. Crews are being pulled over here to do bits of the work but not daily. My guess is that this is not on the regular to do list yet and some how gets a lower priority rating. Anyone have any suggestions how to get it bumped up a notch or two?

  6. Pingback: ABC7 News Team Makes Bernal Heights Sinkhole Disappear | Bernalwood

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