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Queens residents say they've waited years for NYCHA to fix sinkhole at playground

Queens residents want NYCHA to fix sinkhole at playground
Queens residents want NYCHA to fix sinkhole at playground 02:12

NEW YORK - Raymond Kelsey and his 10-year-old daughter, Cailey, love spending the day having fun outside. But these days, their options are limited.

"There's not really anywhere to play, really," Cailey said.

The playground near their home at Queensbridge South sits in disrepair behind a locked fence, deemed unsafe after mats began sloping into a sinkhole. Parents say they've been waiting more than three years for a fix, and the adjacent play structure, they argue, isn't in much better shape.

"That's the frustrating part, is that we can't use it," Kelsey said.

Experts say playgrounds are vital for healthy development, a place for kids to practice teamwork, overcome obstacles and simply get outside.

"With my son being autistic, this is something that will help him, getting to be able to be bold and take on the community and know how to make friends," Queensbridge resident Jessica Guillebeaux said.

"People complain for years. They do nothing," Lashawn 'Suga Ray' Marston said. "They don't care."

"The unrepaired sinkhole at Queensbridge reflects just a pattern of neglect and divestment that we've seen throughout NYCHA, throughout our city," Councilmember Julie Won said. 

NYCHA has the budget to make this right, she argues.

"It is not OK that, even though funding is there, that they are refusing to fix it," she said.

When CBS New York pressed NYCHA for a construction timeline, a spokesperson said, "NYCHA has cordoned off the impacted area at Queensbridge South to ensure resident safety and has worked to complete engineering assessments of the soil settlement issues affecting the playground area."

Raymond Kelsey says the lack of action sends a clear message to his family.

"The same way we feel about other major repairs is: we're not worth it," he said. "We just feel disappointed."

For now, he and Cailey will have to find another place to play.

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