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Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
State Senator Tony Avella stands at the site of the sinkhole at 32nd Avenue and Union Street.

What’s it going to take for the city to finally repair a big sinkhole in Flushing?

That’s a question state Senator Tony Avella posed last week while standing near a substantially sized sinkhole at the intersection of Union Street and 32nd Avenue that first appeared years ago.

Avella told reporters at a May 11 press conference that he has reached out to the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) multiple times about the situation dating back to last August, but has not yet received a response. Now, he said, the problem has expanded and the site has grown more dangerous.

“I’m really worried there’s gonna be a serious collapse here,” the senator said.

According to Avella, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) inspected the site on Aug. 12 and issued a “Corrective Action Report” to DEP. Still, Avella said, the problem remains.

“The ground underneath is eroded, so there’s very little holding the road up,” the lawmaker said. “The sewer must be broken underneath and leaking and the water just erodes the ground.”

In his most recent letter addressed to DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Avella pointed out that the location is a major thoroughfare, with buses, cars and pedestrians passing through on a constant basis. The intersection is also near to a school, park and pool club, the lawmaker pointed out.

bus web

“It’s only a matter of time before the sinkhole causes a major accident,” Avella wrote.

The senator closed the strongly worded letter by taking a shot at the city administration as a whole.

“Unfortunately, it is no surprise that this administration is unable to address many of New York City’s significant issues, if it cannot even repair a sinkhole,” the letter noted. “On behalf of all New York City residents, please start doing your job.”

“The sewer in the vicinity of Union Street and 32nd Avenue is being inspected using a remotely operated television camera and, once that work is complete, any necessary repairs will be made,” a DEP spokesperson told QNS on May 15.

Sinkhole web

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