Where The Sidewalk Ends

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the enormous clusterfuck on 2nd & Main Street in front of Kona’s Sammiches, but it’s actually a pretty cool story, bro. Jeff Jukkola, the man with the plan when it comes to repairing the sinkhole, took some time to tell us what happened and how they plan to fix it. Surprisingly, there are quite a bit of underground tunnel shenanigans in Downtown Chico.

So why did the sidewalk cave in? Underneath Kona’s is a deep, dark basement with a brick wall facing out towards the street. Behind that brick wall is another thinner brick wall, and behind that was just a bunch of dirt backfilled in. The sidewalk was then poured on top of that big pile of dirt at street level. When the little, thinner brick wall deteriorated, the basement wall weakened, and the dirt came piling into the basement. Kona’s employees heard a loud crash, but didn’t investigate right away (because if thou ignorest thine loud crash, then perhaps thine crash does not exist?) The lack of support from the backfilled dirt, which had all gone piling into the basement of Kona’s, caused the sidewalk to collapse.

Knowing that it needed to be fixed, Jeff Jukkola—Civil Engineer for the City of Chico and Roundabout Mastermind—developed a design to fix the issue. But due to the Kona’s baking schedule, they had to work fast and they had to work weird. Working around Kona’s baking schedule and ensuring that there’s still access to their storefront with minimal interruption to their business, Jukkola and local construction company Thomas H. Williams worked long, strenuous hours around Kona’s schedule. With just four guys (nay, animals) working around the clock, they managed to figure out a way to finish it all in under two weeks.

Now the question begs, will there be regular inspections? And are there other buildings teetering on the brink of creating a sinkhole city?

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