MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. —
Base personnel working around the clock over several days are making progress after heavy rain created sink holes on Carnes Road, near Santa Margarita School and on-base housing. After prompting decision makers to close traffic in both directions early Monday morning, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force built a tactical bridge to provide access for first responders to cross.
“We first heard about the collapsed road at about 9 am.. By noon we assessed the area affected and reached out to the Marines of 7th Engineer Support Battalion (ESB) because they have bridge building capabilities,” said Navy Lt. j.g. Scott Michael Cherry, civil engineer corps officer with public works division, Marine Corps Installations West (MCI-WEST).
On Tuesday morning, Marines with Bridge Company, 7th ESB, 1st MLG assessed and tested the safety and durability of a medium girder bridge making it possible for emergency vehicles to cross Carnes Road. Water Resources Division then used a pump truck to clear water that had pooled up in the sinkhole to allow contractors to start making repairs.
“This morning, we came in and removed all the damaged asphalt and exposed all the utilities that were under the road to allow us to begin backfilling the road with crushed rock,” said Darren Carreira, facilities support contract inspector
Wednesday, contractors worked diligently to fix as much of the road as possible by clearing debris left within the sinkhole, filling it with crushed rock, and welding steel plates onto the road to open a lane for traffic to move in one direction. Meanwhile, Facilities Maintenance Department (FMD) worked to create an alternate path to the north and south of Carnes Road for use as an alternate routes.
From the beginning of operations to the final stages of temporary repairs, Security and Emergency Services (SES) Bn. has been on scene securing roads, creating traffic control points, and identifying routes emergency vehicles could use to provide first-responder care to residents affected by conditions.
“We have the [Provost Marshal’s Office] (PMO) here, and they’re remaining vigilant to try to make sure that people are remaining safe,” said Cherry.
On Thursday, after construction contractors were able to finish final stages of all temporary repairs, 7th ESB was able to deconstruct its bridge to allow construction on the other side of Carnes Road.
“I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding [during this crisis] and if you happen to run into anyone from 7th ESB, PMO or FMD, give them a big thanks,” said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, commanding general, MCI-W, MCB Camp Pendleton.
For the most up to date information on the sinkhole and current status of Carnes Road visit: www.pendleton.marines.mil