Gas service cut near city of Kingston sinkhole

by Michael Mosher on July 31, 2012

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KINGSTON, N.Y. — Sections of gas lines near a Washington Avenue sinkhole have been shut off for safety reasons and to clear the way for work on a leaking 100-year-old storm tunnel that created the sinkhole, according to a spokesman for Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.

The spokesman, John Maserjian, said the gas shutoff affects five homes in the area of the sinkhole between Linderman Avenue and Donovan Place.

Where possible, Maserjian said, affected homes have been outfitted by the utility with propane or electric systems for cooking and to heat water.

The utility decided to shut off sections of two gas lines underneath Washington Avenue about two weeks  ago, Maserjian said. A 200-foot section of one pipe was closed as well as a 300-foot section of another.

Maserjian said he is hopeful Central Hudson can reopen the lines before the fall. He said that one of them supplies pressure to the city and, without it, there could be pressure issues.

He said the utility is working on “an alternative” if the sinkhole is not repaired by then.

A large sinkhole opened in the spring on Washington Avenue between Linderman Avenue and the Boulevard. Two smaller ones have formed nearby since then. Traffic is being detoured around the affected area.

The large sinkhole has been expanding in recent weeks, undermining a storm sewer and leading to the collapse of a section of the road, City Engineer Ralph Swenson has said.

Swenson said Monday that the affected storm sewer section has been removed and another pipe has been installed above ground to direct stormwater into the nearby Tannery Brook.

The Common Council has authorized the city to borrow $1.6 million to reline a section of a 100-year-old tunnel beneath Washington Avenue. 

Bids for the work are to be accepted by the city on Wednesday, Swenson said.

Swenson said he probably will ask the Common Council for additional funding due to the sinkhole expansion.

The relining is to start in August and be completed in October, but Swenson said the expansion of the initial sinkhole may lengthen the project.

Full article…here

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