LAFAYETTE -- City leaders have negotiated an emergency repair to fix a large sinkhole that formed Dec. 2 on Mountain View Drive during a storm, tapping the renowned Rancho Cordova-based construction firm C.C. Myers, Inc.

City Manager Steven Falk said Tuesday that the city has negotiated a $600,000 time-and-materials contract that could change if additional repairs are needed to fix the 15-foot-deep hole. The company began work Tuesday morning and is expecting to complete the repairs Dec. 25.

That is much sooner than original estimates, calling for the closure of Mountain View Drive well into winter.

"The City Council wasn't satisfied with that answer and directed staff to act faster," Falk said.

The city decided to tap C.C. Myers, whose previous emergency projects include the replacement of two bridges on the Santa Monica Freeway/Interstate 10 following the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the emergency repair of a stretch of Interstate 580 in Oakland following a tanker truck fire in 2007.

As part of the repairs, crews will replace a damaged storm drain that led to the road's failure with a 10-foot-diameter pipe from current widening projects on Highway 4. The pipe's failure was caused by a trash blockage in Lafayette Creek that resulted in water eroding the soil between the pipe and the road, officials said last week. An East Bay Municipal Utility District water line was also damaged by the 80-by-40-foot sinkhole.

The city has submitted a request to the California Emergency Management Agency for help under the California Disaster Assistance Programs and are also looking to see if the fix can be covered through insurance. The council authorized setting aside $1 million from the general fund reserve for the repair last week.