Sinkhole street still a wreck 10 months later

Still in the hole: Neighbors along 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard say the repairs on their block are still ongoing 10 months after a massive sinkhole opened on the corner last summer.
Photo by Bess Adler

Ten months later, the sinkhole is filled, but life nearby is still the pits.

Residents of 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard say street construction continues to wreak havoc with their lives nearly a year after a 50-foot sinkhole opened on one end of the block last June.

Neighbors complain that ongoing roadwork has turned their street into a dusty, deeply-rutted disaster area, and that the contractors shut the block off to traffic without warning and park equipment in front of their driveways.

“I leave, I come back, and my driveway’s blocked off, and they’re set up and working,” said Denise Vento. “It would be nice to be notified when they’re closing the street, it would be nice to be notified when there’s going to be no parking.”

Plus — rubbing dirt in the wound — the Department of Sanitation has stopped cleaning the street, allowing filth to pile up on the sidewalk.

“When a car comes down here, the dust goes 40, 50 feet in the air,” complained longtime resident Michael Carey. “I’ve lived on this block since 1963, and this is the worst I’ve seen it.”

Vento said her disabled husband recently had to got to the hospital because of a double lung infection she suspects the dust exacerbated. She also said that she and several of her neighbors had to replace the shocks in their cars because of months of driving over broken blacktop.

“It’s like riding the Cyclone down there,” said Vento.

Both Carey and Vento said they had reached out to state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) for relief, or at least to find out when the ordeal will end. Both pols’ offices confirmed they had gotten numerous complaints, but neither could provide any answers — much to the neighbors’ chagrin.

“It doesn’t seem like anybody’s pushing to get this thing done,” said Carey.

It’s also unclear exactly who is working on the block right now, and what kind of work is being done. The residents said the laborers on their street would not tell them who they were working for. Golden spokesman John Quaglione and Gentile spokesman Justin Brannan both said they have been talking to the Department of Environmental Protection about the project, but the city agency told us that they stopped working on the block months ago, and claimed Con Ed is responsible for the current construction. Con Ed spokesman Bob McGee said the utilities company had no employees on the scene, but said it might be one of its subcontractors doing repairs — and promised to try to address the neighbors’ concerns.

“We’re looking into the matter and we hope to have the work completed as expeditiously as possible,” said McGee.

A Department of Environmental Protection spokesman promised his agency would repave the street as soon as the Con Ed crew gets out, though neither he nor McGee could give a date for when that might be.

But Department of Sanitation spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said that a worker on the block informed her that the projects will continue for about four more weeks — which is the soonest residents can look forward to getting their street swept.

“A DSNY mechanical broom does not have access to the curb due to ongoing construction,” said Dawkins.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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