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By David Brand
Queens new “Boulevard of Death” became the Boulevard of Depth on Friday afternoon when a large chunk of street and sidewalk caved in.
The street and sidewalk at Northern Boulevard and 114th Street in East Elmhurst collapsed into a 40-foot-wide crater near a construction site as a gas line exploded and a water main ruptured.
The city said no one was injured in the collapse.
Manhattan-based Perini Group Inc. is developing a 12-story mixed use building at the site and said they were looking into the cause of the cave-in.
“We’re still investigating the reasons for that, we had a stop work order so no one was hurt,” assistant project manager Angela Li told the Eagle.
Li said the building will feature mostly commercial tenants.
After the collapse Con Edison shut down a gas line along Northern Boulevard. The cave-in occurred a few miles from the site of an equipment malfunction that triggered an explosion and illuminated the sky above Astoria on Dec. 27.
The cave-in sent debris flying through the area, piercing a car roof, shattering the windshield of another vehicle and stopping traffic amid a cloud of dust.
Department of Buildings spokesman Andrew Rudansky said that inspectors found a section of sidewalk and roadway that caved into the construction excavation.
The city issued a stop-work order on Dec. 19 after someone submitted a complaint that the work was causing cracks on the sidewalk and the road.
The site also lacked the required construction plans, inspectors said. The stop-work order was still in effect at the time of the collapse.
The retaining wall of the construction site developed a large hole, which allowed dirt to pour in and caused the street to give way, the FDNY said.
Transportation safety advocates have dubbed Northern Boulevard the “Boulevard of Death” because it accounts for more traffic-collision fatalities than any other street in Queens.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press