ST. LOUIS – St. Louisans in the Benton Park West neighborhood are fed up with a massive hole in their street that has gone nearly two weeks without being fixed.
FOX 2 went looking for answers; action from the City of St. Louis soon followed.
Residents say everything started five or six weeks ago, with water bubbling up from under Utah Street near Ohio Avenue.
About 12 days ago, a Water Division work crew cut a 12-foot by 15-foot hole into the pavement to find the source of the problem.
The water leak stopped, but the hole remained. Traffic cones and caution tape surrounded the hole and only partially covered it with plywood instead of metal plates, which are typically used to cover holes in pavement.
Residents cringe every day as drivers from each direction weave around the mess using the side of the street without the hole. Loretta Anderson parks her car in front of her home on that side of the street. She folds in her side-view mirror now so weaving vehicles don’t knock it off.
“They speed through here all the time. That’s one of my main concerns—that someone’s going to lose control and fall into the hole,” she said.
“My biggest worry was that a curious child would fall into the hole and couldn’t get out because of their size, and we would have a really bad outcome,” said her neighbor, Rick Eccher.
So, he was very relieved when the city water department replaced that plywood with metal plates that almost completely covered the hole Tuesday morning after FOX 2 started asking about that hole on Monday.
A city spokesman confirmed there are actually two water issues on the block: a leaking city water line under the street and a residential service upgrade under a nearby sidewalk.
A contractor fixed the residential portion on Tuesday afternoon.
The repair for the city’s portion is now planned for next week, after which the hole can be filled and paved, a spokesman said.
“They should have had it fixed in 24 to 48 hours, as long as it takes to seal it. I don’t understand what’s going on,” Anderson said.
“You know, these are very simple questions that the city should have taken care of. We pay for that. We paid for a hole!” Eccher said.
At least this day brought progress, answers, and something other than plywood covering that hole.