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Crews Investigate Sinkhole On Upper West Side

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Upper West Side Sinkhole (credit: CBS 2)

Upper West Side Sinkhole (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — People are stopping, staring and taking pictures of a massive sinkhole that opened in the middle of 82nd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, but frustrated residents are asking what city officials intend to do to prevent future collapses.

“It’s a recurring thing that happens every year,” resident Kirk Williamson told CBS 2′s Elise Finch.

Williamson’s window faces the hole that he says he first noticed on Friday. Since then, it has extended to 10 feet in circumference and 20 feet deep.

Just a few yards away is what’s left of smaller sinkhole that formed last year and the hole left from a water main break just two weeks ago.

“There’s a lot of work going on in here and it’s taxpayer-paid for. If they don’t really find a solution it will keep happening,” Williamson said.

“There’s been no one here investigating it. So that’s a little bit troubling. This is a very family-oriented block,” said resident Rochelle Hestnas.

Ed Coleman, with the City’s Department of Environmental Protection, said his office was just recently notified of the latest sinkhole but an investigation is underway. Crews are using ultrasound scanners and underground cameras, among other tools, to get to the bottom of the problem.

“So far we have not found any leaks on the water mains. Additionally we inspect the sewers, so we open all the sewer manhole covers, look down to see if they’re functioning properly and they were. Any other problems I’m sure we’ll detect them now and correct them,” he said.

An independent contractor has also been called in to do another investigation. Once the problem is finally identified, crews will remove the broken concrete and asphalt from the sinkhole and fill it in.

Both investigations into what caused the sinkhole could be wrapped up as early as Thursday.

What do you think caused the sinkhole? Sound off in our comments section below…

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