The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Gaping Holes and Gas Smell Remain After National Grid Work, Residents Say

By Katie Honan | May 19, 2015 5:01pm | Updated on May 19, 2015 7:34pm
 The work was done in April but crews haven't covered the hole, according to residents.
The work was done in April but crews haven't covered the hole, according to residents.
View Full Caption
Councilman Danny Dromm

JACKSON HEIGHTS — Gas company workers left gaping holes in the street in front of an apartment building after repairing a leak there weeks ago — and neighbors said they're afraid the leak still remains.

National Grid, which maintains gas lines in the area, dug four 13-feet by 3-feet wide holes to repair a leak in front of the residential building at 35-27 80th St. back in April, according to neighbors. But long after the work was completed, the holes remain and the company hasn't explained why the odor lingers, residents said.

"Despite many complaints we have received no answers about why we smell gas and if it’s safe," said Ricky Castro, the building's co-op vice president, who added that the construction began April 17.

In addition to their fears about an ongoing gas leak, neighbors said the construction pits have been used as playgrounds by neighborhood kids. The holes also filled with water during a recent storm, flooding the building's basement.

Saturday's downpour filled the construction holes, which caused the building's basement to flood, Castro said.

Councilman Danny Dromm said he's called National Grid for help, but the company hasn't fixed the problem.

“We understand that there is needed construction but it is highly irresponsible for National Grid to inadequately barricade the construction site and leave it open to children to play in, garbage to gather and rain to flood," Dromm said Tuesday at a press conference in front of the building.

A spokeswoman for National Grid, Karen Young, said the company is "committed to ensuring the safety of the public" and is currently working to secure the work site, with work expected to continue through the end of this week. 

Crews have worked around the parking restrictions on 80th Street since a gas leak was discovered in a building in April, she said.

They've replaced gas service to three buildings and are now working to get the new lines in service. 

"We apologize for the inconvenience but the work is necessary to ensure a safe and reliable gas system for the community," Young said.