By Paula Katinas
Bay Ridge – The sinkhole that caused a cave-in on 92nd Street, which we first reported here, could take up to two months to repair, according to a Community Board 10 official, who said the earth opened up because of a break in a sewer line.
“It’s going to take a lot of work,” Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said.
Workers from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were still making emergency repairs at the scene of the sinkhole, 92nd Street and Third Avenue, on July 2, four days after it developed on June 28.
Beckmann said she was informed by DEP officials that a broken sewer line caused the sinkhole in front of 278 92nd St.
In addition to filling in the sinkhole on 92nd Street itself, the DEP workers were also addressing a section of Third Avenue near 92nd Street.
Eleven families were temporarily evacuated from a nearby apartment building after the sinkhole opened up, according to authorities.
No one was injured, authorities said.
“A tragedy was certainly averted,” Beckmann said.
The sinkhole developed in the early afternoon on the west side of the sidewalk on 92nd Street near Third Avenue.
“It’s deep. It goes down about 50 feet,” said Capt. Richard DiBlasio, commanding officer of the 68th Precinct.
DiBlasio had quickly dispatched cops to the intersection to keep cars and pedestrians away from danger.
The block of 92nd Street between Third Avenue and Ridge Boulevard has been closed to vehicular traffic since the emergency began. The traffic ban is expected to be in place for weeks, Beckmann said.
The residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return to their apartments within a few
Hours on June 28, authorities said.
The DEP sent letters to all of the homes on 92nd Street to inform residents of the situation.
The letter referred to the situation as a “minor collapse in the city sewer.”
“Due to the significant depth of that sewer line (approximately 70 feet below the surface), we estimate that construction may take at least several weeks to complete,” the letter read.
The sinkhole swallowed a tree that had been standing on the sidewalk, residents said.
The emergency started out as an investigation into why the tree appeared to be sinking, according to Beckmann, who said Board 10 member Eleanor Schiano, a property owner on the block, called her to report that a tree on the sidewalk looked like it was sinking into the ground.
Beckmann contacted officials from the New York City Parks Department, who met her at the scene for an on-site inspection.
“When I got there, they told me, ‘Ms. Beckmann, it’s not us. Call DEP.’ I looked into the hole and there was nothing there – literally, nothing. It was a gigantic hole. You could see all the way to the foundation of Paneantico across the street,” she said.
Paneantico is a bakery-café located at 9124 Third Ave., on the corner of Third Avenue and 92nd Street. It is across the street from where Beckmann had been standing.
“I knew it was a sewer line break,” Beckmann said. “There’s only one thing that moves earth. It’s water.”