Truxtun sinkhole freeway

Bakersfield Public Works Director Nick Fidler, right, and Streets Supervisor Mike Connor, left, discuss a sinkhole that opened Sunday afternoon on Truxtun Avenue at the Westside Parkway onramp.

LOIS HENRY / The Californian

Bakersfield city officials were confident Monday that Kern River water pushing through a storm drain collection system is what caused a sinkhole to open up on Truxtun Avenue at the Westside Parkway onramp Sunday afternoon.

They were less sure when they would be able to get in and do repairs because they were still investigating the situation and needed utilities marked before excavation could get underway.

More should be known Thursday, said Bakersfield Public Works Director Nick Fidler.

"We know where the water is coming through," he said. "We need to figure out how to plug it."

The sinkhole's size was unchanged Monday; the city will just continue monitoring it, Fidler said. Water was being pumped out of the area underneath the roadway.

Fidler made his comments at 3:45 p.m. Monday — about 15 minutes before the first window of peak traffic in the vicinity (basically traffic heading west from downtown) was about to hit. The first peak is from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the second from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., he said.

"I'd just caution people to be aware of the lane closure and find an alternate route," Fidler said.

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