Traffic Resumes on I-8 After Flooding in Mission Valley

Caltrans worked through the night to repair the damage to Interstate 8 after a sinkhole opened up, shutting down the main east-west artery in Mission Valley

Traffic resumed Friday along Interstate 8 following a water main break that broke through the asphalt along the right shoulder of the eastbound lanes and flooded the freeway.

For nearly six hours, traffic was diverted around the break in the eastbound lanes of I-8 at Hotel Circle. Commuters had to find another way to get from Interstate 5 to areas east of Interstate 805.

The damage caused by the sinkhole was mostly repaired by 6 a.m. this morning, said Caltrans spokeswoman Cathryne Bruce-Johnson.

Less than 15 minutes later, all lanes of eastbound I-8 were open to traffic through the area near Taylor Street. By 7 a.m., California Highway Patrol officers had reopened all ramps leading to eastbound I-8.

The water main running through Interstate 8 was capped permanently, city spokesperson Arian Collins said. There were no water meters attached to the pipe, so taking it out of service should not affect the public.

Customers at the Crowne Plaza hotel were left without water most of the night, said Collins. Crews had to shut off gateway valves to the hotel while the pipe was capped.

There were several blocks that were temporarily without service as the crews worked. Since then, water service has returned to the Mission Valley and Morena area, said Collins.

On Thursday, the flooding was reported at 12:07 p.m. along the right shoulder of the freeway near the Hotel Circle off-ramps.

A CHP officer at the scene described a sinkhole approximately 8-feet wide. Water bubbled from the broken asphalt and left a pool of muddy water in several lanes.

The I-8 flooding was caused by one of a series of water main breaks involving two pipes in the Mission Valley and Morena areas, according to the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. 

A 16-inch cast iron pipe installed in the area more than 60 years ago broke at 9:30 a.m. on Morena Boulevard. 

Changes in water pressure may have caused a chain-reaction leading to three other water main breaks, Collins said. 

He said the causes of the breaks are under investigation, but he believes the water pressure from the first break triggered the others.

The lanes will need to be restriped in a few weeks, said Bruce-Johnson.

Contact Us