If you have been down Osborn Avenue and Court Street in recent months you may have noticed a large pothole. But this pothole isn’t in the roadway.
It’s in the sidewalk.
Riverhead resident Andy McLoughlin first noticed the pothole developing along the curb last summer. Now he estimates the hole at the intersection of Court Street and Osborn Avenue in Riverhead to be roughly 1 and 1/2-feet deep and considers it a public safety hazard.
Though potholes are usually blamed on cold and wet weather Mr. McLoughlin points the finger at Suffolk County buses.
He believes buses leaving the train station come down Osborn Avenue and ride up on the curb while making a right turn onto Court Street in order to avoid other cars that are stopped at the light.
“Everyday buses cut the corner,” Mr. McLoughlin said. “They can’t make the turn while the car is at the light.”
The buses encroaching on the sidewalk compounded by the large hole makes traveling the street hazardous for pedestrians, he says. Mr. McLoughlin also believes the gaping hole in the sidewalk is a liability for the town, should someone get hurt.
“Sooner or later someone is going to fall into one of these holes and file a lawsuit against the town, but maybe that’s what has to happen before anything is done,” he said.
Riverhead Highway Superintendent George “Gio” Woodson could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the pothole.
Mr. McLoughlin said the county should be held responsible for the damage.
“If the buses can’t make a turn for whatever reason, then maybe they should start using an alternate route to get where they are going,” he said.
“I don’t know if it is [Mr. Woodson’s] job,” he continued. “[The county is] supposed to have professional drivers working for them and they are the ones that are doing the damage day after day.”
Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue) said he was not aware of the issue, but would look into it.