Concerns raised in Batavia over loose manhole covers after early morning accident
One of a series of loose manhole covers on Route 5 through the city damaged a truck driving on West Main Street early this morning.
The driver, Lawrence Tassone, 80, of Batavia was uninjured, but the axel on his truck was broken.
After the manhole cover hit the truck, the truck drove up a curb near Union Street and the manhole cover flew some distance, according to WBTA's Dan Fischer, who happened upon the accident scene just before 5:30 a.m.
Route 5/Main Street, is the jurisdiction of the state Department of Transportation, but the manhole cover is owned by Verizon.
Lori Maher, spokeswoman for the DOT out of Rochester, said the DOT received a complaint from city officials about loose manhole covers in Batavia and determined these particular manhole covers were owned by Verizon, so Verizon was notifed.
This afternoon, after the manhole cover at Union Street came off again, the DOT sent a traffic safety truck to steer traffic around the loose cover and a crew was on its way to place a steel plate over the cover.
It will be up to Verizon to provide a long-term fix to the problem.
A spokesman for Verizon said a statement about the situation will be forthcoming, but The Batavian has not received it yet.
John Bonomo from Verizon released this statement: "We are aware of the situation and are working with a contractor to remedy the situation."
Maher said that as far as liability for damage to Tassone's truck, that matter has been turned over to an insurance company.
City officials say they contacted the DOT about the situation in January and that the problem isn't just with the manhole cover at Union Street, but that the problem extends with Verizon-owned manhole covers from Vine Street to Union.
The video above shows the wobbly manhole cover at Union.