NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four foot-deep holes created a major hazard on a Brooklyn street for weeks, and homeowners were left wondering how city leaders could allow them just to sit there.
As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported exclusively, the holes have been filled last. But residents on 76th Street in Bay Ridge had had enough of the two deep holes several weeks ago.
“It’s really bad,” a woman said. “And I don’t know why the city is taking so long to fix it.”
“I called 311 how many times?” a man said.
Residents said they had been asking National Grid to take care of the potentially “dangerous” 4 foot-deep holes that were left uncovered. A National Grid representative said it was part of a project that started in April to install safety devices to allow first responders to turn off gas if needed.
Neighbors said barriers had been up since the start, but the problem, they said, was that some aggravated neighbors had kicked the barriers down – leaving the holes fair game for anyone to fall into.
“I mean, put a plate over the damn thing!” the man said. “Now what happens if one of these 4-year-old, 6-year-old kids fall down, and nobody there’s around? Who is going to save them?”
“Even getting a car for the elderly to come out with their chairs, they can’t get out because it’s blocking the way,” the woman said.
Elke Weber said the holes also filled up with water when it rained, causing flooding in some people’s homes — including her garden-level basement
“To the top, and it sits there for days until it finally, you know, goes anywhere, and then it rains again and it fills up again,” Weber said.
CBS2 originally covered the holes last weekend – calling National Grid and the Department of Transportation multiple times. All requests for interviews were denied.
But after several calls Tuesday, suddenly showed up to fill the holes around 2 p.m.
“I’m thrilled that they finally came to fill those holes,” Weber said. “Thank you so much for all your help.”
“We’re just so happy that CBS got involved, because we know that they’re the ones that motivated all these people,” said Loretta Gilroy of Bay Ridge.
Neighbors were satisfied the holes no longer existed, but wondered why for so long they were left unfilled or uncovered.
After CBS2’s phone calls, the DOT reinspected on Tuesday and issued two violations to National Grid for having open excavations without valid street opening permits.