NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A small break in a water main that caused a large sinkhole to open up in Brooklyn has been repaired, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
The street collapsed around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday on 23rd Street between 5th and 6th avenues.
Eric Landau, deputy commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, said crews have been working non-stop.
The DEP has to now fill in sand where the dirt eroded under the sink hole. It plans to continue digging up the street until they find where the erosion ends.
Ed Wilton lives down the block and says neighbors have been complaining about deteriorating street conditions for years.
“We were worried about this a year ago and were worried about the same thing happening,” he said. “There’s got to be something going on these roads because you’ll just see a 100 yard stretch starting to cave in.”
The repair work halted Alan Wolf’s trucks from delivering food to schools, senior centers and food pantries.
“I might have guys with hand trucks taking orders down the block and it may take some time so if any of my customers are listening, please be patient we will get to you today but it make take some time,” he told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
The sinkhole, which is about eight feet wide and four feet deep, opened up as a school bus was driving by. The driver was taken to Methodist Hospital with minor injuries. There were no students on the bus at the time.
“If there was kids on that bus they would have really gotten hurt because the whole axle was smashed off,” witness Eddie Biczel said.
“Early in the summer there was a pretty big pot hole there,” another resident named Mike told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “They should have patched the hole the right way, from the beginning, especially knowing that there are gas lines going through this block.”
Even new neighbors have noticed the issues. Connor Stirland moved to the block two months ago and says before this, he had been hearing the sound of rushing water coming from the street.
“Kinda like someone turned on a faucet, almost,” he said. “I just thought it was raining kinda heavily.”
The DEP tells CBS2 there’s been no disruption in water service since the sinkhole emerged.
Police are asking drivers to stay away from the area and to find an alternate route.