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Full circle! Fifth Avenue sinkhole finally filled a year later

Full circle! Fifth Avenue sinkhole finally filled a year later
Back on track: The intersection at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue reopened after crews spent 13 months repairing the road that collapsed due to a massive sinkhole.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

It’s a whole new intersection!

The city has finally finished fixing the massive sinkhole that swallowed the corner of Fifth Avenue and 64th Street last summer. Officials reopened the freshly repaved roadway to commuters on Sept. 2 after 13 months of construction — and much to the delight of those who live and work in the area, said one man.

“It’s a big relief, that thing was just a pain,” said Ric Andino, who delivers Poland Spring water to the area and altered his delivery route due to the sinkhole. “The GPS didn’t consider the sink hole and would tell me to drive into it, now it’s nice and smooth.”

Local businesses complained about the sinkhole hurting their bottom line last year. The nearby Wash Club laundry was particularly hard hit when the area’s water was shut off for hours on end, an employee said.

“I said to myself, ‘How in the world are we gonna get this laundry done?’ ” said Aaron Burbette, who works at Wash Club laundry.

“We had to run a connection hose from a fire hydrant so we could keep operating. So I am definitely relived it’s repaired.”

The collapse was initially 20 feet deep, but the Department of Environmental Protection dug 60 feet — roughly six stories — into the ground to inspect and upgrade underlying infrastructure, said a department spokesman. But more than a year later, the department is still investigating what caused the sink hole, he said. At the time, officials confirmed a pipe was leaking under the street, but now say a faulty manhole may have been the culprit, the rep said.

It’s not the first sinkhole to open in the area, and probably won’t be the last, but locals are relieved to have their intersection back, another area resident said.

“It feels like as soon as one is fixed two others pop up,” said Gina Tejario. “But I’m just glad this sinkhole is gone.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

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