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Upper East Side Neighborhood Calls For City To Fix Troublesome Manhole Cover

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For months, residents on the Upper East Side have been getting tripped up by a badly positioned sidewalk manhole.

Now, the manhole danger has left one resident with some serious injuries, CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported.

As a foreign correspondent for Newsweek, Richard Chesnoff survived wars and riots. Yet he said it was a brush with a New York City sidewalk that left him wounded — 23 stitches in the ankle and a bruise on his leg.

“When I got up, my ankle was spurting blood,” Chesnoff said.

The 77-year-old said he tripped last week on a manhole cover that is not flush with the sidewalk.

“The manhole sits an inch and a half below the sidewalk grade,” he said.

The troublesome manhole is located on East 78th Street between Lexington and Third avenues, Kozar reported. The sidewalk is closed during the day because of construction, but it’s open in the evening and that’s when Chesnoff said he fell.

“It’s just something that shouldn’t happen,” Chesnoff said. “It’s a shame the city doesn’t move on it.”

“We already notified the city and so far nothing was done about it,” said Zeljko Lukolic, a building super near the manhole.

The building’s management at 1125 Lexington Ave. said they’ve filed three complaints with the city dating back to last year regarding the manhole cover, which has DPW lettering on it, Kozar reported.

They said there have been several incidents of people tripping.

“The tree’s falling. The roots are lifting the cement and that’s why it’s getting so bad,” said Lukolic.

CBS 2 reached out to the city for comment, and sent photos of the problem spot.

A Department of Environmental Protection spokesman could not confirm record of the complaints, but said the city will send an inspector to the location this week.

“I’m not looking to make a million-dollar suit here,” Chesnoff said. “I’m looking to get it fixed so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Chesnoff, who has been walking with a cane since the incident, is worried someone else will get hurt.

Depending on what is wrong with the sidewalk, the city said the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation may have to get involved with repairs.

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