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Hole ‘lotta complaints

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The city says it won’t fix a six-month old sinkhole on Hubbard Street until it figures out how it got there, so someone has taken matters into his own hands — with a makeshift patch job.

This week, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection told us that the sinkhole between Avenue Z and Shore Parkway, which residents have been complaining about since May, won’t be repaired until it learns how the three-foot-deep divot — so deep it revealed a National Grid pipeline — came about in the first place.

“The Department of Environmental Protection is currently investigating the cause of the sinkhole,” said city spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla. Padilla would not indicate when the agency began looking into the matter and did not say if there were any plans to actually solve the problem, but said that it would work with the Department of Transportation to repair the sinkhole. The Department of Transportation did not respond to multiple calls for comment.

But the city’s response to the problem hasn’t sat well with residents.

“We’ve been asking for months that the city fix the hole, but 311 just makes empty promises,” said Marie Shulman, who lives nearby. “We’re worried that a poor, innocent kid could trip into the hole.”

But that can’t happen now, because two weeks ago, someone — possibly members of New York’s Bravest — filled the hole with rocks.

“A couple of weeks ago, some people from the Fire Department came and did what they could to cover the hole,” said Frank Messano, a Hubbard Street resident who placed two orange cones on the rocks to show that the hole was still a hazard.

The Fire Department has refused to take any credit for the work.

“FDNY does not fix curbside holes,” said Fire Department spokesman Frank Dwyer. “No firehouse filled the Hubbard Street hole with rocks.”

No matter who filled the hole, the fugazzi fix isn’t enough, residents say.

“We’re still worried about the hole and that it could still deepen,” Messano said.

Residents were also worried that the exposed National Grid pipeline, which is now covered by the rocks, could be dangerous, but a spokes person for National Grid said the company inspected the exposed pipeline several weeks ago and ruled that it did not pose a threat.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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