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Hwy 99 at Rosedale has been reopened after hole found in overpass

Two lanes of southbound Highway 99 were closed Friday morning though Bakersfield for emergency repair, after Caltrans found a hole clear through the freeway lanes on an overpass.

Caltrans spokesman Christian Lukens told Eyewitness News rain had apparently gotten into a patch, loosening it, and then that part "dropped out."

Caltrans found the hole, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, in the overpass at Rosedale Highway at about 10 a.m., according to California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Rodriguez. He said the bridge is fine.

"Luckily it's not right over Rosedale Highway, which is good news," Rodriguez said. That also meant that lanes on Rosedale didn't have to be closed.

In fact, the hole was just south of those lanes.

From below, the hole could be seen in an area by the freeway on-ramp. Looking up, there was a view of re-bar, and chunk of concrete in the hole, and traffic moving near it overhead.

The Caltrans spokesman said a new patch was put in on Friday, and said work like that is considered a long term solution.

He said the previous patch that fell had been in place for "at least six to seven years."

Lukens said rain can get into cracks in the patches, making problems where there has been some wear and tear on the highway surface.

He said crews on Friday also removed some at-risk asphalt and concrete at the side of the highway in the same area.

Lukens said there is already some maintenance scheduled for next Saturday in the area, and the bridge crew will now also look over the rest of the overpass where the hole opened up on Friday.

Highway Patrolmen had two southbound lanes of 99 were closed most of the day, as well as the southbound on-ramp from westbound Rosedale.

Patrolman Robert Rodriguez said he's never before seen anything like the freeway pavement hole.

"No, I haven't," he said. "Luckily, it's only three-by-five, and not much, much greater. Or, much larger -- to where a vehicle could actually go through it."

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