Parks Dept. Promises Fix After Year-Old Sinkhole Finally Swallows Greenway

Hudson River Greenway users north of 181st Street can get by on the grass shoulder, but the sinkhole is expanding.
Hudson River Greenway users north of 181st Street can get by on the grass shoulder, but the sinkhole is expanding.

It’s been almost a year since we first reported on a sinkhole eating away at the Hudson River Greenway just north of 181st Street. The Parks Department added barricades, an old board, and finally filled it with gravel last month while it figured out “a long-term solution.”

The clock is ticking: In the past couple weeks, the hole has grown and now swallows the entire paved path, forcing greenway users onto a narrow grass shoulder.

Parks Department spokesperson Phil Abramson said that the hole is the result to a broken water line and will require lane closures on the Henry Hudson Parkway to fix:

Parks has secured a contractor to execute repairs to the broken water line and the section of greenway path that is being compromised as a result of it. The contractor is in the process of securing roadway construction/lane closure permits [so] that the section of highway barrier can be removed and heavy machinery mobilized to make the needed repairs.

Streetsblog asked if there’s a timeline for the repairs, but didn’t receive a reply. We’ll let you know if we hear anything back.

  • JamesR

    Many thanks for getting to the bottom of this! It really is in a deplorable state at the moment.

  • J

    It’s telling that you need a permit to close a single lane of a 6-lane roadway, but you can close half the lanes of a bikeway for a year, and no one at the city even bats an eye. Pitiful.

  • KillMoto

    Only when the road is compromised will we see any work…

  • Walker

    On Saturday’s Great Saunter many people were very angry about this. A couple of thousand had to walk around it. NYC DOT Commissioner was on the walk, maybe she got to see it close up?

  • Joe R.

    Wow, I didn’t know it had gotten this bad! I’m really surprised it hasn’t swallowed passing cyclists yet. Let’s hope the fix solves the problem for good.

  • BBnet3000

    Who pays for this? If its a water leak under the Henry Hudson, I really dont think it should be parks.

  • com63

    Just wait until the retaining wall collapses, shuts down the whole road and it comes to light that the city did nothing about this for more than a year…

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    Hey DOT, It looks like you don’t have enough bike lane to go with your hole.

  • Wilfried84

    I passed that point yesterday for the first time since the winter. Will they close the Greenway at that point while they do construction? That would suck.

  • JamesR

    Judging by it’s current state, I’d say a closure is almost a certainty. Back to risking our necks over on Riverside Drive.

  • Wilfried84

    One can hope that when they take a lane for construction, they’ll use part of it for a bike detour. Wishful thinking perhaps.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    If you’re coming from Inwood, you could take Broadway to 181st and get on the greenway to points south there. Less than ideal. Ditto for northbound – you could exit at 181st, or farther south at 158th and use Ft. Washington. Same problem, different alternate route.

    Really highlights how desperate uptown is for good bike infrastructure.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Right? And it shouldn’t be that wishful — those northbound lanes run under capacity from what I’ve seen. They could easily take a lane and all it would do is slow traffic a bit, without jamming it up.

  • KeNYC2030

    When you need a permit to close a bike lane rather than a car lane, we will know the Millennium has arrived.

  • At least they finally put some reflective tape on it, after being pestered for a whole year. You can’t tell from the picture, but this is right where a northbound cyclist might be going 20mph. There’s no lighting here, most bikes only have little “be seen” headlights, and gray metal barricades are invisible in the dark until you’re right up on them, so it’s been a serious injury waiting to happen for a year.

    Or maybe a serious injury that did happen. There’s no way to know…

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