Sunset sinkhole to take longer than expected to repair

August 26, 2015 Jaime DeJesus
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See you in November.

The reported 20 foot wide and 20 foot deep sinkhole that opened up near 64th Street and Fifth Avenue on Tuesday, August 4 will take up to three months to repair.

According to fliers posted in nearby streets, closures for the emergency sewer work will be in effect every day, 24/7, until Friday, November 13. The thoroughfares that will be affected are Fifth Avenue between 63rd and 65th Streets and 64th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues.
The fliers were posted by construction contractor John P. Piccone Incorporated in accordance with New York City Department of Transportation requirements.

According to the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, it was a broken water main that caused all the trouble.

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“We are working now to replace the 48” water main in the construction area in order to ensure the reliability of the overall Brooklyn water distribution system,” said a DEP spokesperson
According to the DEP, that includes relocating Con Ed, National Grid and Verizon utility lines, excavation of a trench and the installation of supportive sheeting and “H” shaped steel supports for the water main.

“This same trench will allow for the inspection of both the sewer line and manhole. The work is proceeding as quickly as possible and we continue to look to minimize our impact on the neighborhood,” added the spokesperson.

According to Tony Giordano, founder of Facebook page Sunset Parker, frustration is mounting among the community due to lack of communication. “Sunset Parker was called in by the local businesses and residents since their voices were not being heard,” he said. “We contacted the commissioner of DEP and the Department of Emergency Management and outlined a number of problems – for example, the limited signage that was put up was incorrect.”

Giordano expects the timeline to extend past the current estimated date. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes longer since this kind of project often grows as the work is being done as unrealized additional problems are revealed,” he told this paper.

Still, optimism remains as more voices within the community are being heard, said Giordano. “This is unacceptable and fortunately the Commissioner agreed and we have seen tremendous progress in correcting these issues,” he said. “In fact, even the councilmember’s office is now involved and there was the first on-site meeting of all interested parties. All of this progress was the result of our Sunset Parker Facebook involvement.”

Both sides of the streets remain barricaded as construction workers continue working on the lengthy repair. Buses continue to pass through the street under construction. Pedestrians, however, are limited to one side of the street.


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