The sinkhole before repairs.
Long covered by an upside-down traffic cone, a sinkhole approximately two feet wide and five feet deep has existed for several months at the corner of Emmons Avenue and East 21st Street, near Randazzo’s. After months of complaints from neighbors, the city is finally fixing the obvious danger to both pedestrians and drivers, and repairing the faulty sewer line that caused it.
The crater sat just a step off of the pedestrian curb cut on the northwest corner, large enough for a person’s leg – or even an entire child – to fall into. That threat had some locals concerned.
“I’m scared that maybe one day I forget to look down as I walk, and step into this hole,” Tanya K., an employee at a nearby boutique, told us before repairs began.
The safety concerns spurred at least one good Samaritan to shove a traffic cone inside it in an attempt to plug the hole. At various times over the last several months, other cones were seen around it, and, eventually, a broken construction barricade.
“I’ve walked past it a couple of times these past few weeks and even though they have this caution barricade on top of it, the city still needs to get this thing patched up soon,” nearby resident Marc Schwartz told us last week.
But despite the appearance of construction, all the items were cautionary – until this week.
City workers are currently on Emmons Avenue between East 21st Street and Ocean Avenue, tearing out the sidewalk and repairing a broken sewer line underneath – the source of the sinkhole, according to one of the workers.
The repairs came after months of complaints from nearby business owners. One who requested to remain anonymous said he put in multiple complaints to 311 over the past four months. However, the 311 service map only shows one complaint – placed on February 24. It was referred to DOT, even though the DEP is the agency responsible for sinkhole repairs, which might explain the delay.
The entire project should be wrapped up in a day or two, a worker at the scene told us.
- with additional reporting by Ned Berke.