BY JAMES FARRELL
The city Department of Environmental Preservation (DEP) is taking too long to fix an “extremely dangerous condition” caused by a pothole in Flushing, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said.
Avella held a press conference at the site of the pothole—which is in the middle of the intersection of Union Street and 32nd Avenue—on May 11, expressing his concerns that the road around the pothole appeared to be collapsing.
He also wrote a letter to the DEP’s Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, in which he expressed anger that two prior letters to the agency had gone unanswered. In those previous letters, he explained, he had pointed out that the city Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Corrective Action Report to the DEP “requesting that the appropriate action be taken to correct the condition.”
The site was inspected on Aug. 12, 2016, “yet nine months later still no action has been taken,” Avella wrote.
“While I have come to expect inaction as the norm for this city’s administration, I still find it astounding that you would willfully ignore such a hazardous condition,” Avella wrote. “This location is a major thoroughfare and is part of a bus route, with a school very close by.”
Avella also used the letter to make a broader argument regarding the city’s inability to address complaints for residents.
“How much more is required for you to finally take action?” he wrote. “It is only a matter of time before the sinkhole causes a major accident. Unfortunately, it is no surprise that this administration is unable to address many of New York City’s significant issues, if it cannot even repair a sinkhole. On behalf of all New York City residents, please start doing your job.”
The DEP said that the sewer in the vicinity of Union Street and 32nd Avenue is being inspected using a remotely operated television camera, and once that work is complete, any necessary repairs will be made.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.