New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Upper East Side Patch Upper East Side Sinkhole Latest: Repairs Continue, Sewer Eyed by Nick Garber

Upper East Side Sinkhole Latest: Repairs Continue, Sewer Eyed

The pavement on East 89th Street between York and East End avenues caved in around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Initially measuring about 20 feet deep and 8 by 8 feet in diameter, workers later widened it by about 7 feet to perform repairs, City Councilmember Ben Kallos said on Monday.

"They went all the way to the sidewalk because that's how compromised it was," he said.

An investigation into the cause is ongoing and no conclusions have been reached yet, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection said Monday.

Kallos, though, said investigators told him that the five-foot-wide sewer line had likely been leaking, triggering the collapse.

Within 24 hours of Thursday's collapse, workers had rerouted a sewer line that had been affected by the sinkhole and covered up the site with dirt. Over the weekend, crews expanded the hole to expose more utilities nearby, the DEP spokesperson said.

Monday and Tuesday, the city planned to bring in materials from out of state to continue cleaning out and replacing the damaged sewer line, Kallos said.

Two buildings that lost running water for a few hours had it restored later on Thursday.

Sinkholes often appear after heavy rainfall, like the storms that swept the city in recent weeks, and are not necessarily a sign of infrastructure problems, a city official told the New York Times on Friday.

Still, it triggered fears that the city is unprepared for extreme weather triggered by climate change, having come on the heels of another sinkhole on the Upper West Side and a thunderstorm that flooded subway stations. Kallos told Patch last week that "I don't want to see a Miami building collapse happen in New York City."

By Monday, crews had excavated 40 feet of the roadway and planned to dig out another 22 feet to expose more of the sewer line, Kallos said. That section of 89th Street remains closed to traffic.


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