Drain Crumbles Along I-5 in Sacramento, Severely Impacting Traffic

SACRAMENTO -- Traffic along a major freeway artery through Sacramento was severely impacted Thursday when a major drain began to crumble near Richards Boulevard, causing a mudslide.

"This kind of damage is not really a regular thing," Caltrans spokesman Dennis Keaton said.

The slide, which happened as the rainy morning commute was getting into full swing, sent more than a foot of mud to cover part of Bercut Drive.

"Sometime during the night there was some kind of blockage that happened on the actual drain," Keaton said.

Keaton says engineers are still working to figure out what exactly blocked the drain and what caused the added pressure to burst the drain.

Keaton says Caltrans was caught off guard.

"Our crews actually did test this drain earlier in the week in preparation for the incoming storm," Keaton said.

Caltrans reports everything went fine with that inspection, but there have been questions about this section of I-5 in the past. In August, more than two dozen cars were damaged by a massive pothole.

Keaton says this crumbled drain problem is unrelated.

Drivers should expect to see Caltrans continuing construction on the drain. They may have to close down a lane overnight.

"Not so much that there is any kind of a threat to the actual highway itself," Keaton said. "We just need that extra space to work."

There is no estimate for how long the repairs will take.

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