Massive sinkhole opens in Bay Ridge, leaving residents without water

sinkhole in Bay Ridge
A sinkhole opened in Bay Ridge in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Photo courtesy of Council Member Justin Brannan

Crews are working to fill a massive sinkhole opened that opened in Bay Ridge on Tuesday due to a break in the sewer line, temporarily leaving some 50 homes without running water, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Water was restored to all affected households by Wednesday morning, according to Council Member Justin Brannan, and the sinkhole was cordoned off with a makeshift wood fence as construction workers filled the gap with fresh cement. 

crews filling sinkhole
Crews cordoned off the sinkhole as they filled it with fresh cement on Wednesday morning. Photo by Adam Daly

Authorities first responded to the sinkhole on Sixth Avenue between 68th and Senator streest shortly after 6 a.m. on Jan. 2. The FDNY said that no injuries were sustained before the area around the sinkhole, measuring 10 feet by 10 feet at the time, was cordoned off.

In the hours following the response by city agencies, local Council Member Justin Brannan reported that the sinkhole had grown to be at least 25 feet by 15 feet, and is at least 20 feet deep. One local told Brooklyn Paper there had been no complaints related to the sinkhole or any issues that could have caused it before Tuesday morning. 

At the time, representatives for DEP said it was hopeful that water would be back on for residents by the end of the day, and that a temporary water service was being provided for those affected by the shutdown.

“We will continue working on the sewer repair but we don’t expect this to cause a significant impact to residents while we complete the work,” the DEP spokesperson said.

Con Edison also deployed its electric crew to the site, a rep for which reported that none of the utility company’s infrastructure was damaged in the incident.

sinkhole being filled
Repair work at the sinkhole was well underway on Wednesday. Photo by Adam Daly

Advising locals to avoid the area while repairs are ongoing, Brannan said the incident is “further proof” that investing in the city’s aging infrastructure is “incredibly important.”

“Much of the infrastructure we take for granted in this city is operating far beyond its useful life expectancy. Just about everything that happens under the street beneath our feet is over a century old and it’s showing,” said Brannan. “Bay Ridge is certainly no stranger to sinkholes and apparently we needed to reassert our dominance early in the year. I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

The area of southern Brooklyn has seen several road cave-ins in the last few years, with neighboring Sunset Park suffering two massive sinkholes over the space of nine-months in 2016.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

—Last updated 1/3/2023, 12:30 p.m.