By Sabina Mollot
The East River bike lane sinkhole has finally been repaired.
According to Shavone Williams, a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the faulty valve causing the problem was located on Friday, and fixed, with the road repaved by midday. Workers at the scene had been looking for the damaged water line that belonged to the nearby Skyport garage since a water main shutdown on Wednesday morning, Williams admitted. The EDC manages the Skyport, which is owned by the city.
“It took some time for our contractors to locate the valve to shut it off,” Williams said. Once we found it we were able to repair and repave the street.”
As Town & Village first reported on July 20, the sinkhole along the East River and 23rd Street went ignored for two weeks after it was reported to 311 by Waterside Tenants Association President Janet Handal. Handal reported the hole in the road on July 5 after noticing numerous bike riders stopping short directly in front of it. But it wasn’t until last Tuesday, when Handal again reported the issue — this time to several city agencies as well as Town & Village, when work began in earnest to fix the problem.
By that time, the hole had grown from being a few feet across to ten feet wide, full of water that workers desperately tried to drain with six pumps.
The next morning, as work continued, Waterside, which is home to 4,000 people and two schools, lost its water for two hours, which the EDC later apologized for.