Sinkhole wake-up call: Nassau officials push for federal funding amidst infrastructure decay

For three weeks straight life was a challenge for those living off Grand Avenue in Baldwin after a sinkhole opened up.

"It was 24 hours," said resident Erika Floreska. 

While it has since been repaired, the extreme inconvenience for first responders, business owners, and residents offered a glimpse into the future as the sewage lines and water pipes beneath the roads are only getting older. 

"In the beginning, there was some raw sewage that ended up in people’s backyards, running in the creek down here and that’s where our kids play," Floreska said. "It’s a concern."

Sinkholes due to aging infrastructure along the South Shore of Nassau County have officials and residents calling on the federal government for funding.


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"This is what happens," said Nassau Legis. Debra Mulè. "Things are put into place, and they make it run for as long as possible because to ask the taxpayer for additional funds it goes beyond what can be sustained."

Officials say nearly half of Nassau’s sewer pipes are deteriorating more quickly because the groundwater is rising as sea levels change.

"You can’t ignore these assets just because they’re underground and if you do, you’ll run into serious problems," said Lauren Sternberg with Veolia North America.


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Replacing and repairing decades-old infrastructure would cost more than a billion dollars, but some believe focusing on the future should be a priority.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman says they have not received any federal funds but has committed an additional $18 million in this years capital plan specifically for infrastructure improvement. He urges everyone to work together to get the money.