A sinkhole approximately three feet in diameter, smack in the middle of the roadway, has shut down 77th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
According to one resident of the block, the sinkhole began as a depression in the middle of the street and quickly opened up, as neighbors gathered in the dusk to catch up with each other and watch the youngsters playing.
“It took under an hour. We were out here and we could hear the cars hitting something,” she reported. “It was just a small depression but it kept getting bigger and bigger.”
By 8 p.m. on Monday, June 12, a police car was stationed at the side of the sinkhole closer to Fifth Avenue, where a temporary barricade had been put up to prevent traffic from coming down the block. Adjacent to the sinkhole was an additional barricade.
While many Bay Ridge blocks have had to cope with sudden sinkholes — such as one five years ago on 79th Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues that was caused by a damaged sewer pipe, and another mammoth one that same summer on 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard that nearly swallowed cars — this is the first sinkhole that the block has experienced, according to one longtime resident, who said that she thought the burst of hot weather might have had something to do with it.
In addition, she told this paper that the street gets “a lot of illegal truck traffic” since it’s the only street between Bay Ridge Parkway and 86th Street that goes through to Seventh Avenue, providing access to the Staten Island-bound Gowanus Expressway and the Verrazano Bridge beyond. “It’s just volume and heat,” she opined.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.