‘Arch Street Pimple’ upwelling disrupts street in North Berkeley

Luke Brothers/Courtesy

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An upwelling disrupting the road in North Berkeley has created concern among local residents.

The soft ground and damaged asphalt have come to be known as the “Arch Street Pimple.” It is located near the intersection of Cedar and Arch streets.

Barbara Denton, a resident of North Berkeley, thinks the “mini-eruption” is due to groundwater.

Denton described an incident during which her daughter recently took a piece of asphalt off the top and water began to well up and run down the street.

“It’s getting bigger,” Denton said as she pressed her foot into the ground, causing water to seep upwards.

There are more upwellings like this one in North Berkeley, according to Denton. She speculated it’s likely lots of springs have been dormant, but rain may have caused pressure to damage the asphalt.

Additionally, Denton said the area of the upwelling was recently repaved after neighbors reported a pothole in the same spot.

Luke Brothers, another local resident, said the area on Arch Street between Cedar and Rose streets has been in terrible condition, made worse by winter storms. Neighbors are concerned about the safety of cars, he added.

“It would be wonderful if it got some attention,” Brothers said.

East Bay Municipal Utility District first noticed the upwelling Feb. 24 and has evaluated it twice since, on March 3 and 11.

The district concluded that this upwelling is not the result of a leak, according to EBMUD spokesperson Nelsy Rodriguez, because the water they tested doesn’t contain the same chemicals EBMUD uses to treat its water. Rodriguez said she thinks it may be caused by a storm or sewer drain.

Rodriguez said EBMUD does not have the authority to go in and fix the pothole because it only address disruptions of its own work.

City spokesperson Matthai Chakko said the city is looking into the matter.

Contact Ani Vahradyan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anivahrad.