Kingston sinkhole repairs delayed
KINGSTON, N.Y. — Work won’t start until later this week to repair a leaky underground tunnel blamed for the Washington Avenue sinkhole, a city official said Monday.
City Engineer Ralph Swenson said a work health and safety plan has yet to be completed by Merritt Construction Co. of Saugerties for the tunnel repair project.
Swenson previously said that men were expected to enter a shaft to start tunnel work either Monday or today.
Swenson said his office will have to sign off on the health and safety plan.
Swenson also said a video camera was lowered into the 100-year-old tunnel that carries stormwater last week and it was found that no new damage had occurred since videos were taken three weeks ago.
“That’s good news,” Swenson said.
Also, it is not likely a second shaft into the tunnel will have to be built, Swenson said. Officials have considered the possibility of building a new shaft for workers to be lowered about 75 feet beneath the roadway to the damaged tunnel.
Swenson said the current shaft has not sustained damage. Had a second shaft been needed, it would have added considerably to the cost of the repair work, which now stands at $1.6 million, but could rise, he added.
About 3 to 4 feet of sediment has found its way into the tunnel at the spot of the problem puncture.
Swenson said about 10 liner panels to be installed along the tunnel walls have been delivered to the city. In all, Swenson said, the city expects to receive 80 panelsl. Continued...
The sinkhole, the second to form in the same spot in a year, has caused traffic detours, damage to underground water pipes and a hole in a sewer pipe that’s causing hundreds of tons of sand and gravel to reach the city’s sewage treatment plant.
It also has forced natural gas service to some properties to be shut off.
Mayor Shayne Gallo has described the upcoming repair work as “extremely dangerous.”
Gallo has said that his administration is seeking funding or other kinds of assistance from state and other agencies including the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, which built the tunnel about 100 years ago.
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