It’s the hole that won’t go away.
After a recurring sinkhole next to the playground at P.S. 264, 88th Street and Fourth Avenue, began reopening again on Monday, July 30, Ridgeites have reiterated their demand that the problem — which first surfaced late last year — be fixed for good.
“It’s been a reoccurring sinkhole for quite some time,” said District Manager of Community Board 10 Josephine Beckmann, who said the board first heard about the sinkhole on November 30, 2017 and reported it to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection the following day.
Since then, she added, DEP has been trying to figure out its cause.
“A hole that opens up can be caused by a multitude of reasons. Typically it’s water and once a repair has been made, it doesn’t collapse again. Clearly there’s water that’s undermining the street at this particular location; right now they’re trying to figure out exactly where it’s coming from,” Beckmann said. “It may be a water main from the schoolyard. It may be from a nearby house. The investigation takes some time so what’s been happening is the agency has been filling and refilling the hole. Hopefully, very soon we have a cause that can be repaired so it doesn’t reoccur any longer.
“I think we’re very concerned that it continues to reopen,” Beckmann said.
Councilmember Justin Brannan’s office got involved in April, said Chris McCreight, Brannan’s chief of staff. “This is a recurring issue that our office has been working very closely with DEP and P.S. 264 on,” he told this paper. “We’ve had the hole repaired only to see the ground sink again. I’ve been assured by DEP that they are going to figure out the cause so we won’t be having this conversation again in three months.”
“DEP is aware and investigating the source of the roadway damage,” confirmed Deputy Press Secretary for DEP Tara Deighan, who told this paper, “A crew has been dispatched to secure the area until repairs can be made.”
Until the cause of the sinkhole is determined and addressed, locals continue to be worried about it.
“That pot hole has been getting worse for months,” a resident wrote on Facebook regarding the matter.
“I have called 311 many times about this problem,” added another local. “All they do is fill the hole and leave. This has been going on for months.”
John Quaglione, a spokesperson for state Sen. Marty Golden, posted a photo of the sinkhole on his own page after he drove by and saw it.
“I could sense, based on its location extending into the street, that it was and would become very troublesome,” he said. “I got out of the car and as I did, neighbors starting speaking to me about the condition and how they have called it in, in the past, and it is filled in but it comes back. Since I reported it to both DOT and DEP, they have both responded. Earlier this morning, DEP informed me that they are sending out a crew to make the temporary repair and are going to inspect the line coming from the school to see if that is causing the depression in the street.”
CB 10 has also received many complaints.
“Because it’s so close to the school, most of our complaints have been from parents and P.S. 264 staff members and residents from the block,” Beckmann said. “There is more vehicular and pedestrian traffic so it certainly is a priority location and we will continue to work with the agencies to make sure condition is made safe.”