NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Water is gushing through a sinkhole along a busy path near the FDR Drive in Kips Bay, and people are saying it is an accident waiting to happen.
So why is the water still running? CBS2’s Jessica Layton was demanding answers from the Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday night.
The scenery surrounding the marina at 23rd Street and the FDR Drive has changed drastically over just the past few days.
In fact, the sinkhole in the middle of a popular path for bicyclists and pedestrians got to be downright dangerous, forcing people to maneuver around it.
“Well it’s pretty inconvenient,” said Patricia Harty.
In some cases, people ignore the barriers, jump the fence, and hope for the best.
“My biggest concern is safety – you know, it’s going to be either there’s going to be a big hole and someone falls in it and hurts themselves, or there’s going to be a collision between a bicyclist and pedestrian,” said Janet Handal of the Waterside Tenants Association.
Handal, who lives in a building overlooking the obstacle course of orange barrels, has been watching closely as the area went from a deep street depression in early July to a gaping water-filled hole last week.
And then, Handal said, “When I walked by last night, I was stunned by how much water was just bubbling up, and so I came back down here today, and of course, it’s worse.”
Handal said city contractors were at the site Tuesday during the day. But late Tuesday night, more than 24 hours later, the water was still gushing even though boards had been placed over the hole.
“Oh my God!” said Kerry Bate. “This is just a waste of water.”
“What we learned later when DEP was on the site is they could not locate the shutoff valve, and no one seems to know where it is,” added Handal.
CBS2’s Layton called the DEP to ask what was going on. She asked, “What’s being done to turn off the water?”
The city’s Economic Development Corporation responded saying, “City agencies are working aggressively to shut down the water main and make all needed repairs.”
When Layton pressed further on why the water had not been shut off already, she was told it was not feasible to shut off the water at the tap at the location. The main will be shut down Wednesday and repairs should be made within the week, officials said.