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Repair Work Begins on Massive Sinkhole in Grass Valley

GRASS VALLEY -- Millions of dollars in repair work has begun on a seven-story sinkhole in Grass Valley.

The sinkhole was discovered about five months ago, and quickly took out an entire hillside.

The cost for repairs is estimated at between $2.8 million and $2.9 million, and will be paid for upfront by the city of Grass Valley. The city will then be reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration because the culvert that failed, causing the sinkhole, is under a federal road.

Crews with C & D Contractors began work on the sinkhole last week because they had to wait until the rainy season was over. Repairs are expected to be complete by July 11 -- this date is important because federal reimbursements are 100 percent if the work is complete within six months.

Around 6,000 cubic yards of dirt were lost in the sinkhole, and then crews had to remove about 15,000 cubic yards more to get to the damaged culvert for repairs. Crews will eventually have to bring in around 21,000 cubic yard of dirt.

A local car dealership had been using the land where the sinkhole opened to store cars.

"It's been insane the amount of people who have come to see it -- at least 12 a day come out. We even got a person from Austria calling us because it was international news when it happened," said Darroll Tripp, owner of Tripp's Auto Body.

Tripp's Auto Body doesn't know what they will do with the land when sinkhole work is complete.