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Kingston mayor: Washington Avenue tunnel repairs on track

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Albany/HV: Kingston mayor: Washington Avenue tunnel repairs on track
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All repairs at the Washington Avenue sinkhole site are on track, according to city of Kingston leaders. YNN’s Alexandra Weishaupt has the latest on the project's progress.

KINGSTON, N.Y. -– There is some good news on the sinkhole that’s been disrupting traffic and upsetting residents since April. Grouting and relining of the 100-year-old leaky tunnel, located 80 feet below the ground and said to be the cause of a massive sinkhole, is now complete.

“Crews and the rescue team walked through it. The work has been done very, very well,” said City of Kingston Mayor, Shayne Gallo.

Two weeks ago, crews discovered another leak about 80 feet from the original, threatening the possibility of another sinkhole. But according to Gallo, repairs have been completed and it’s no longer a cause for concern.

“There was 24 to 27 gallons of grout and it’s a grout that has the expansion or volume of 30 times when added with water. It filled up the chamber, thank goodness, which is the source of the leak,” said Gallo.

There was also some unease centered around inorganic material that was infiltrating the sanitary sewer line, but according to Gallo, that’s also been taken care of. In addition, residents in the immediate area of the sinkhole now have full access to city water and utilities.

Officials say as of now, the $1.6 million project is right on track. The next step will most likely include the installation of a deep water well, 80-feet down in proximity of the tunnel, as another mitigation effort.

“As time goes by we’re going to monitor it to ascertain whether or not we have to put in these dewatering wells,” said Gallo.

The city is also waiting on a $1.2 million grant from the department of commerce to help fund the project which otherwise will be paid for by taxpayers.

City Engineer Ralph Swenson will provide an update on the sinkhole repairs at a 6:30 p.m. Council Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.

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