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Massive 52nd Street Pothole Still Unfilled a Month After Complaint

By Trevor Kapp | September 26, 2014 1:26pm
 Locals say they have called multiple times to report the pothole at 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue, but have yet to see any repairs.
Huge Pothole Causing Nightmares For Midtown Drivers
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MIDTOWN — A massive pothole that has been steadily growing over the past month is creating headaches for drivers in the heart of Midtown — even as city agencies pass the buck on who's responsible for fixing it, locals say.

The crater began to form on the northeast corner of W. 52nd Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue about a month ago, according to those who work on the block.

A 311 request was called in about a street cave-in at the site on Aug. 21, according to a 311 service request map — but instead of fixing it, the website says it was inspected by an unnamed agency and referred to the city's Department of Environmental Protection for repairs.

As of Sept. 26, the hole was still gaping — and had grown to be three-and-a-half feet wide and nine inches deep.

Michael Carty, the manager of restaurant and bar Rosie O’Grady’s, which is right next to the hole, said he doesn't understand what's taking so long, adding that an agent he spoke to when making the 311 call promised the hole would be fixed within 10 to 15 days.

“They need to do something," Carty said. "When cars hit it, they get big jolts.”

This week — just before the arrival of a slew of high-profile elected officials including President Barack Obama to the Sheraton New York hotel on Seventh Avenue at 52nd Street for the Clinton Global Initiative — the hole was filled with two orange traffic cones and flanked on either side by white police fencing.

But the barricades were removed soon after the guests departed, leaving only a crushed plastic traffic cone, a collection of used Starbucks cups, a drink can and some cigarette butts.

"If I hit that thing, my private parts will be in my throat," said Tom Lucas, 56, a truck driver for a Maspeth-based meat delivery company bringing products to the block.

Lucas added that the crater’s dangerous and could also leave a hole in his wallet.    

“This truck carries $1,000 worth of merchandise," he said. "If I hit it, I’ll have to pay for [damage] It’s atrocious. I can’t even park.”

Izzy Kurti, 42, a worker at a nearby hotel, said the hole combined with a big dumpster that’s occasionally on the block is giving the area a bad image.

“The streets look like a war zone,” Kurti said. “There are holes, dumpsters. It’s an obstacle course for drivers. This is Midtown with a lot of tourists. We need it to look good.”

Artie Jones, 36, who works in Midtown, said the city needs to get to work.

“The city’s full of potholes,” Jones said. “They need to do a lot of patching up before winter.”

Spokesmen for the DEP and the Department of Transportation said Friday they were working to take "appropriate measures."