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Boulders Tumble Onto Street From Inwood Hill Park

By Nigel Chiwaya | April 10, 2014 5:18pm
  Residents are concerned about structural integrity near Payson Avenue after two incidents in March.
Payson Avenue Falling Rocks
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INWOOD — Look out below!

Tire-sized rocks fell onto Payson Avenue near Seaman Avenue in Inwood Hill Park in two separate incidents that locals said put people, buildings and cars in danger.

The first occured the week of March 21, when residents said a large boulder fell from atop a steep hill above Payson Avenue onto the ground across the street from 116 Seaman Ave.

Inwood resident Tim Wilson captured of a picture of the rock and said the boulder nicked a parked car on Payson Avenue.

"It hit the car and caused minimal damage," said Wilson, who walks his dog around the area daily.

More rocks of the same size fell about two weeks later, when an 80-year-old retaining wall partially collapsed behind 128 Seaman Ave., sending stones cascading down into the area behind the building.

Wilson, who has lived on Seaman Avenue for 35 years, said the events are unsettling.

"The ground is saturated," Wilson, 50, said, adding that the ground below the collapsed retaining wall is a gathering place for homeless people in the summer. "If there's further rains and there's a mudslide, I don't know what kind of damage that would do."

When asked about the incidents, Parks Department spokesman Nathan Arnosti said rain most likely caused the boulder to plummet. He added that officials will assess the collapsed wall.

"NYC Parks engineers conduct regular assessments of retaining walls under NYC Parks' jurisdiction," Arnosti said via email. "Our on-call retaining wall contractor will be doing an assessment of the wall near Inwood Hill Park and make recommendations for its repair."