Bay Ridge mega-sinkhole won’t be repaired until October — ‘We’re so frustrated,’ neighbors say

by Michael Mosher on August 21, 2012

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The monster sinkhole that started all the fuss in Bay Ridge won’t be fixed until October – two months behind schedule.

Aggravated residents and business owners near the massive hole on 92nd St. near Third Ave. — the biggest and baddest of a series of sinkholes that erupted in the neighborhood this summer — say they can’t open their windows, can’t park on their street or let their kids play outside.

A local cafe has taken a big hit, after having to turn away customers who want to sit outside, a manager said.

“Oh my God! It seems so slow, their work — too slow,” said Agamemnon Kouromichalakis, 65, who lives by the 25-by-30-foot trench, which keeps the block from Third Ave. to Ridge Blvd. closed to car traffic.

Residents were originally told the repairs would be completed by the end of August.

“We’re so frustrated,” said another neighbor, Hector Munoz, 70. “I want this to get done so we can live a comfortable life over here.”

A cafe next to the sinkhole has lost a lot of business because it can’t let customers sit at its 16 sidewalk tables.

“The whole summer is destroyed for us because of this,” said Mike Deliso, a manager at Paneantico Bakery Cafe. “We would love for this to be over.”

The hole appeared on June 28 when a street tree suddenly slipped into the earth and disappeared — because of a break in a century-old sewer tunnel 70 feet below the roadway.

“That tree wound up in China,” said Munoz — who’s had to keep his windows closed since then and the air-conditioning on to keep out dust out of the house because of his asthmatic 4-year-old grandson.

“I’m afraid to find out how much extra my electricity is going to cost.”

Munoz can’t sit on his porch because the open trench smells like raw sewage, especially after it rains. He can’t let the grandkids ride their scooters on the sidewalk for fear they might get hurt by the construction equipment.

He didn’t mind when repair crews were at the site 24 hours a day. They made noise at night, but it meant the work was getting done faster. This month, there’s only a day shift at work, he said.

Other sinkholes that made residents wonder if Bay Ridge was being visited by a Biblical plague — like a biggie that nearly swallowed two cars on 79th St. near Fourth Ave. — have been fixed.

But in the pit on 92nd St., work crews reached the ruptured pipe just at the end of last week, a DEP spokesman said.

“The depth of the sewer line and the safety of the workers are the primary reasons the repair will take months rather than weeks to complete,” the spokesman said.

The age of the sewer was probably one factor in the sewer tunnel break, he added.

The DEP, which hasn’t determined the final cost of the project, has spent $5 million so far.

Full article…here

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