FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2022
City of Kingston Receives $1.4 Million for Washington Avenue Tunnel Settlement
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston has settled the Washington Avenue Tunnel construction litigation for $1.4 million.
On Tuesday night, the City of Kingston Common Council approved a settlement with GEA Engineering, Geo-Solutions, Inc., and Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers in the amount of $1,400,000. The payment ends litigation the City started in 2018 concerning repairs performed on Washington Avenue between 2012 and 2016.
“This settlement saves Kingston’s taxpayers the cost of litigating a complex trial and is a huge win for us,” said Mayor Noble. “The Washington Avenue sinkhole had been an issue for years before I came into office, and much has been spent to clean up the mess. I am pleased the litigation that I initiated has come to a positive result and allowed the City to recoup taxpayer dollars.”
A tunnel under Washington Avenue was constructed by the New York City Board of Water Supply in 1911. One hundred years later, in April 2011, a sinkhole opened up on Washington Avenue near Linderman Avenue.
Problems that arose during the repair process resulted in raw sewage accumulating and exploding into the tunnel before damaging property and discharging unabated into the Twaalfskill Creek. Excess grout and other materials were removed in April 2018, and the tunnel was relined in June 2018.
At the time, the City of Kingston borrowed approximately $2.5 million to pay for the repair and related expenses.
Mayor Noble initiated lawsuits against six construction companies involved in the repairs in 2018, seeking to recoup more than $2 million in damages related to the sewer line blockage and shoddy repair work. The City of Kingston previously settled with three of the six companies named as defendants in the lawsuit for $75,000 in 2021.