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Gaping 4-foot pothole on Oakland highway damages cars, closes lanes, Calif. cops say

How potholes are formed

In the winter, potholes are a constant challenge for drivers. This video from the Utah Department of Transportation shows how potholes form because of winter weather.
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In the winter, potholes are a constant challenge for drivers. This video from the Utah Department of Transportation shows how potholes form because of winter weather.

Three lanes of a highway that runs through Oakland were shut down on Friday afternoon because of a gaping pothole that measured four feet by three feet, officials said.

California Highway Patrol officers shared photos on Twitter showing the gigantic road obstacle on the third lane of Interstate 880 southbound, advising drivers to “plan to use alternate routes.”

The portion of the highway impacted is downtown over Jackson Street, CHP officers said.

Highway patrol officers said on Twitter that the three closed lanes would remain blocked off to traffic until around 7 p.m. on Friday.

The road issue slowed traffic in the area, NBC Bay Area reports.

Cars that encountered the pothole sustained damage, and tow trucks were called to help, according to KGO. The TV station reported that “this is a chokepoint during the afternoon commute hour, where traffic grinds to a crawl right after the merge from I-980. So plan extra time or use the MacArthur Freeway as an alternate route.”

Photos released by CHP show that the hole is in the middle of the lane on the concrete road, with rebar visible around the rim of the pothole.

“You know the one two punch of half a billion dollars in deferred maintenance on Oakland streets, plus a series of really wet winters has left us with the worst pothole problem I have ever seen in my entire life of living here,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said of the East Bay city’s pothole woes, according to KGO.

Drivers on the route should expect significant delays, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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