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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.

Updated Aug. 21, 2 p.m.

After months of complaints, a sinkhole in the heart of an active Flushing intersection will finally be remedied, a lawmaker announced on Aug. 18.

State Senator Tony Avella said the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will soon address the sinkhole at the intersection of Union Street and 32nd Avenue. The decision to repair the sinkhole, which first appeared years ago, comes after an inspection begun by DEP in May.

The city agency said that it has “identified the deficiencies in the underground sewer infrastructure that may have contributed to the roadway defects,” according to the state senator.

“I am happy that this busy intersection will be repaired prior to a major collapse,” Avella said. “Buses, trucks, cars and pedestrians cross this busy intersection at a high frequency and if this condition continued to be ignored, we could have had a real tragedy on our hands. I hope that the city completely repairs the issue so residents can go about their day without worrying that this intersection could open at any minute.”

The lawmaker first held a press conference on May 11 to draw attention to the problem. Onsite, he told reporters that he reached out to the DEP multiple times about the situation dating back to last August, but did not receive a response.

“I’m really worried there’s gonna be a serious collapse here,” Avella said during the press conference. “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 a 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

“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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