CHP Oakland

The 10-foot-deep highway chasm is popping tires in sinkhole heaven now.

It’s hard to love a sinkhole, but the California Highway Patrol made one in Oakland at least somewhat relatable by christening it “Steve.”

“We would like you all to meet Steve the sinkhole,” the agency announced Monday on Facebook. “Steve was born this morning, at about 5:20 AM, on southbound SR-13 just north of Broadway Terrace in Oakland. Steve is approximately 5 feet in diameter and about 10 feet deep.”

The gaping chasm appeared after a recent series of storms, some veined with rarely seen hail, left California drenched and snow-covered. NBC Bay Area reports that as “far as the CHP Oakland knows, it could be the first time a sinkhole has ever been named.” For potholes, though, this is familiar territory: In May, West Des Moines saw a notorious hole dubbed “Grand Canyon,” and a few years ago an English man named one after a local politician who was allegedly not doing enough to improve the roads.

The life of Steve was short and violent. Since developing, it flattened the tires on three vehicles (nobody was hurt). It also grew from a tight, deep cavity into a lane-eating ditch over the course of a day. However, by Tuesday night state workers had filled it over with asphalt, prompting the highway patrol to declare, “It was a fun run, but #SteveTheSinkhole is officially dead. May he never return and to all, drive safe!!!!”

Cheers, Steve—may you deflate a Michelin factory’s worth of tires in sinkhole heaven. Perhaps we’ll even see you mentioned in the next report appraising the Bay Area’s roads as the structurally worst in the nation.

CHP Oakland
Caltrans
CHP Oakland

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a rendering of the moon village with a view of Earth
    Design

    Designing the First Full-Time Human Habitat on the Moon

    SOM, in partnership with the ESA and MIT, wants to accommodate research and maybe even tourism on the moon.

  2. Design

    The Many Lives of Notre-Dame

    Far from being a single author’s definitive text, the beloved cathedral’s history is a palimpsest.

  3. A man checks a route on his phone while in a car.
    Equity

    Conversations With D.C. Uber Drivers Reveal Stress and Debt

    A new report from Georgetown University reveals wage and other challenges faced by Uber drivers in Washington, D.C., yet many say they plan to keep driving.

  4. a photo of San Francisco tourists posing before the city's iconic skyline.
    Life

    Cities Don’t Have Souls. Why Do We Battle For Them?

    What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change.

  5. A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.
    Design

    Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

    Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.