Hayward destroyed a famous indicator of seismic activity, now we’re all going to die

The corner of Prospect and Rose in Hayward.

HAYWARD | Like many East Bay cities, Hayward has many streets and sidewalks in need of repair. However, Hayward’s city government found the one road improvement project that it may have thought twice about fixing.

Last month, Hayward city employees inadvertently repaired what they understood was a broken sidewalk curb on the corner of Prospect and Rose. In fact, the disjointed curb was a scientific curiosity long studied by seismologists studying the nearby Hayward Fault.

Oakland science writer Andrew Alden lamented the loss last month. “Sure we all enjoy the Grand Canyon, but real geologists have Siccar Point, Darwin’s outcrop, the Carlin unconformity and other obscure sites on their life lists,” he wrote. “One of those places was right nearby in Hayward, until very recently. At the corner of Rose and Prospect Streets is a corner curb that happened to be built precisely across the Hayward fault, where the steady progress of aseismic creep slowly wrenched it apart.”

Why Hayward city government might have been clueless about the significance of the curbside could be attributed to the exodus of city employees since the Great Recession. In addition, labor relations with the city have soured in recent years beginning with a stunning wage imposition on 300 of its city workers, including those who may have participated in repairing the corner of Prospect and Rose at the direction of the City Council.

In the meantime, we’re all going to die.

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