Fishtown: Residents Worried About Crease Street Sink Hole

Residents were concerned that the hole would increase in size and comprise the street.
The Water Department covered the hole with boards last week.
The Water Department covered the hole with boards recently.

Some residents in Fishtown have been waiting on the Philadelphia Streets Department to properly fill a sink hole on the 1100 block of Crease Street before something gets damaged or someone gets hurt. This wait has been too long for some residents.

“That has been there for a while and it seems to get deeper,” resident Randy Jacobs said. “I know the city has been notified. Hopefully someone comes out soon.”

In January a contractor dug into Crease Street to install a lateral sewer line for a resident. According to a post on the forum the contractor paved the sidewalk but said the city was responsible for the street repair.

The contractor put a cold patch on the hole which sat for three months before the Streets Department dug it up. The department laid a “thin layer of asphalt over top of the hole” which broke through within days, according to Crease Street resident Megan Feeney who hired the contractor.

Feeney said she contacted Philly311 to repair the hole, resulting in repair work twice. During each repair the Streets Department laid another thin layer of asphalt which broke through. Since then the hole has not been repaired and the rain storms over the past couple of weeks have increased the size and depth of the hole.

Residents estimated that the hole was at least 4 feet deep.
Residents estimated that the hole was at least four feet deep.

“It is about a three-by-three-foot hole that goes about four feet deep,” Feeney said. “I‘m worried that a car or passerby will fall in the hole or that the street will collapse. I’m also concerned that the lateral line will be damaged.”

Not only was safety a priority for residents but many had the question as to who was responsible for eliminating the hazard.

“The Water Department was notified that this was an emergency. Both them and the Streets Department came out to do testing but just put a cone and boards over it,” Feeney said.

Feeney said she thinks both departments “passed the buck” onto each other and the contractor. “The contractor essentially washed his hands of the job, saying it‘s the city’s responsibility. The city has come out and fixed it a couple of times, but it keeps breaking. Then they blame it on one another.”

Feeney said she did contact Councilman Mark Squilla and is waiting for response. She said she hopes this will speed up the process and get the hole fixed.

The sink hole was first reported to Philly311 on March 26. As of April 5, the Streets Department listed the request for repair as “in progress.”

When reached for comment that department stated that each request gets examined within 24 hours. The department then performs maintenance as soon as possible. While the department had not ignored the request and performed two different repairs of the hole, residents were curious of their method.

Residents were concerned that the hole would increase in size and comprise the street.
Residents were concerned that the hole would increase in size and comprise the street.

“I don’t know why they did not fill it with cement,” Austin Graham, a local repair man who has worked with lateral and water services, said. “A hole that deep needs to be tamped, cemented and asphalted. A thin layer of asphalt is just going to break through.”

Curently, this sink hole is marked by an orange cone, Philadelphia Water Department signage and two thin boards covering the the hole. Neither the Water Department nor Streets Department presented a time or date for when work will be done on the sink hole. Residents hoped that the time will come soon.

“There are a lot of potholes, sinkholes and ditches throughout the city,” Fishtown resident Jacob Ortiz said. “I’m sure they will get around to it within the next couple of days. They would not want anyone to fall in the hole and cause the city trouble.”

1 Comment

  1. Wow I just found this article, and I want to thank you for writing it. We’ve spent a lot of time worrying about somebody falling and getting hurt, and we haven’t had luck getting through to 311 or the city, so we appreciate your concern.

    One update. We came home from work friday, 4/26, and there was a no parking sign posted, for work that would be done on the street between 4/29 – 5/1. Unfortunately it’s going to rain these dates so the work will likely get postponed, but it was great to see some plans from the city in the works.

    I’m so sorry to the neighbors for this inconvenience and we really appreciate their patience and understanding.

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