PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A pothole turned sinkhole plaguing a Providence neighborhood was patched Wednesday, though residents believe the city didn’t take action as soon as they should have.
The pothole, located on Oxford Street, was several feet deep. Sabrina Dunston said she has reported the pothole to city officials several times since the pothole was discovered earlier this month.
Dunston said she noticed the pothole on the Fourth of July, but didn’t call until the next day due to the holiday.
“It’s dangerous, the kids are playing in it, cars are going back and forth in it,” Dunston said.
Dunston said the following Monday, a traffic cone was placed inside of the pothole to alert drivers. She added that that cone was later stolen.
“We ended up putting our trash cans in there,” Dunston said.
Eyewitness News was on scene when members of the Providence Department of Public Works arrived to assess and patch the pothole.
Director of Providence DPW Antonio Morabito said they weren’t notified by PVD 311 until Tuesday.
“That’s a bit unusual, so I’d have to go back and see what delayed our response time in this particular case,” Morabito said.
Mayor Jorge Elorza’s office tells Eyewitness News the city did receive reports of potholes in the area on June 22 and July 6.
Reports also claim DPW filled both of those potholes, “and there are no records of the constituent following up about a persisting or larger issue.”
The city also received two more reports on July 23 and 24, stating the pothole had developed into a sinkhole. That was when DPW crews responded to Oxford Street to patch it.
City officials are now trying to determine the source of the hole, which could be caused by either the city’s or a nearby homeowner’s pipes.
Anyone who spots a problematic pothole in Providence can utilize the PVD 311 system to report it or request city services. Service requests can be submitted by calling 3-1-1, using the PVD311 mobile app or through PVD311.com.
The reports are then forwarded to the Mayor’s Center for City Services (MCCS), at which point a constituent representative is assigned to facilitate a response with the appropriate departments.