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Sunset Park Sinkhole May Have Opened Due to Water Main Break, DEP Says

By  Anton K. Nilsson and Ben Fractenberg | August 5, 2015 1:46pm 

 Workers were repairing a giant sinkhole in Sunset Park a day after it formed on Fifth Avenue and 64th Street, Aug. 5, 2015. 
Sunset Park Sinkhole
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SUNSET PARK — A giant sinkhole that swallowed a section of road in Sunset Park may have been caused by a water main leak, officials said Wednesday.

The 20-foot-deep-by-20-foot-wide hole opened up at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 64th Street Tuesday morning, diverting traffic in the area. 

“We discovered a leak in that water main and we shut the water off for two blocks to stop the leakage,” a Department of Environmental Protection spokesman said at the scene Wednesday, noting that the leak may have washed away dirt under the street. “The water service has been restored to the whole area as of this morning.”

Residents said they have worried about water damage at the intersection for several years.

"I feel like they should have known it was coming. That area has always been a low spot, so when it rains there is just an amazing lake of water there,” said Ziggy Drozowki, who lives at 63rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

“And in the winter there would be frozen ice and slush. It's something the city could have done something about.”

George Fernandez, who has lived in the area for 12 years, said he has “progressively heard and felt the subway trains more and more” beneath his floor over the years.

“The whole of Fifth Avenue is rotten,” Fernandez said. “Unless there is a new building here, nothing is being done.”

More frequent repairs to Sunset Park's infrastructure and “comprehensive monitoring” of streets need to occur, Community Board District 7 Manager Jeremy Laufer said.

Workers were busy filling in the hole with sand on Wednesday in preparation for repaving of the street.