Sinkhole dragging down campus life


Victoria Ivie

Sinkhole view. Photo by Victoria Ivie.

Anne To, Managing Editor

Traffic jams, buses rerouted, and classes missed are just some of the many inconveniences the sinkhole underneath Circle drive, between Campus Road and the entrance of Lot 2, have caused.

A campus-wide announcement was sent in late March, provided updates on the cause and repairs of the sinkhole that’s been inconveniencing students, faculty and staff since late February.

The cause of the sinkhole appears to be an older storm drainpipe that failed during the heavy rains,” the campus announcement stated. “Water from the pipe flowed into the ground, causing the soil to erode and wash away. The plan includes the installation of new storm drain piping and backfilling and compacting the sinkhole area. The project is expected to be completed in May. However, the expected date of completion may change because of delays caused by continued rains or other factors.”

This update comes after the sinkhole was reported by geotechnical engineers to be impacting a larger area than previously stated, when the university first addressed the situation.

While the university provided an estimated date for the completion of the repairs project, some students remain concerned.

“My major concern would be if we have enough infrastructure, like employees that know how to reroute traffic issues, and also just repairs to the road in general,” said Angelica Perez, a studio art major. “I feel like this school can be a little, not so great, with being on top of repairs. I would say the concern is just the timeliness of fixing things for the students.”

Despite emails, the university could not be reached for comment. The story will be updated if they send a statement.

Traffic near Campus Road was a problem that students faced when the sinkhole first appeared.

“A lot of my classmates have complained about it, being late to class and whatnot,” Perez said. “Now that everyone knows where it is, we’re avoiding the area. But definitely when it was happening on top of the rain, I think it stressed out a lot of the students.”

The parking and transportation services and Public Safety have taken steps to reduce the traffic on campus by adding additional traffic workers.

According to the campus announcement, “more traffic officers have been added to help with traffic congestion on Paseo Rancho Castilla. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works has extended the duration of the traffic light on Eastern Avenue and Paseo Rancho Castilla to help with the flow of traffic leaving the University.”

Multiple bus lines were rerouted to the corner of Campus Road and State University Drive, because of the sinkhole. The new bus stop has received complaints from multiple students.

Master students, Krussaoe Sherma and Jainam Shah, stated that the new location is “very far away to take a bus.”

Lily Yuan, a business major, relies on the bus to get to campus. Combined with her chronic knee issues, the longer walk from the bus stop has made it difficult to get to places on time.

“The new bus stop is a long walk from campus,” Yuan said. “I’ve missed my bus a few times and got to class late.”

Yuan said it takes her 15 minutes to walk from campus to the new bus stop.

Yuan also said that the bus stop does not have any sheltered areas, so students need to stand outside in the rain while waiting for the bus.

The area near the sinkhole continues to remain closed to vehicle and foot traffic.

The university advised the community to email any safety concerns or storm related impacts on campus to facilities email, [email protected] or submit a hazard incident report.