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Kingston sinkhole repairs underway, but over budget

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Albany/HV: Kingston sinkhole repairs underway, but over budget
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The Washington Avenue sinkhole repair project is already over budget, according to Kingston's City Engineer Ralph Swenson. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has more on what measures officials are looking into to help reduce the costs and speed up the repair process.

KINGSTON, N.Y. -- As work on Washington Avenue is officially underway, there’s talk of some changes already when repairs at the leaky tunnel, which is said to be the cause of the massive sinkhole, isn’t progressing as officials had hoped.

“We’re going to exceed our production schedule by quite a bit and that translates into a lot of money - $10,000 a day,” said Ralph Swenson, City of Kingston engineer.

So to avoid exceeding the pre-allotted time period, officials are looking into a piece of equipment known as a super-vac, but it does comes with an additional $2,000 a day cost.

“Even though we might have to spend a little more money using this piece of equipment, it will move the project along,” said Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo.

And in doing so, it could cut the number of work days in half, helping to save $100,000 in the long run.
Officials say $1.2 million of the $1.6 million authorized for the repair has already been allocated, including an additional cost of a platform which wasn’t part of the original plan..

“The platform had to be installed to have a stable work surface for both the contractor and the rescue personnel,” said Swenson.

Crews began removing sediment from the tunnel on Tuesday and are expected to go 85 feet into the shaft starting Thursday to re-line the damaged area.

“Our goal is to have this done before the bad weather, and our goal is to have all the affected residents back with their lives,” said Mayor Gallo.

Officials say they will know within the next few days if they’ll be using the vacuum method. The city has also applied for a $1.2 million grant, which they say could help immensely with covering the costs of the repair process at the sinkhole. They'll know by the end of the month if that’s been approved.

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