February 25, 2014

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Kingston could see sinkhole solution

KINGSTON – There’s light at the end of the tunnel, engineers disclosed Monday evening in Kingston, to the city council Finance Committee. The notorious Washington Avenue sinkhole has plagued residents and drained municipal coffers for several years.

Large crowd of Kingston residents hear that after years, there may be a fix

Turbulence from a vertical shaft draining Tanhouse Brook to the Rondout Creek vibrated soil, undermining the tunnel.

“It’s like taking a two liter bottle, turning upside down, creating a chugging effect,” explained engineers.

A diversion to a wider nearby existing shaft, combined with a hydraulic vortex, will swirl the underground river into the system more smoothly, experts said.

The shaft was installed in 1993, to reroute the underground brook. Prior to that time, it drained naturally into the Esopus, and there were no tunnel problems.

Once the vortex is installed, the tunnel will be stabilized around its exterior shell with jet grouting – injecting from the inside out forming an outer crust.

“Decisions made in the early 1990s by the city council, may be well intended, are now coming home to roost,” Mayor Shayne Gallo said said. “All they did was divert and redirect a problem that was going in one direction, over to the Rondout.”

Gallo said the repairs are extremely costly, reaching an estimated $1 million per yard.

“I wish we had a money tree in the back of City Hall,” the mayor said. 


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