City fixes hole that 2-year-old nearly fell into after I-TEAM probe

Hole next to Arlington sidewalk filled in until final repairs made at later date

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city came out to start making repairs to a hole next to a sidewalk in the Arlington area that a 2-year-old girl nearly fell into.

The hole is several feet deep and the gap between the sidewalk on Crane Avenue and the grass is larger than an adult foot. A walking and biking trail empties out onto the sidewalk, as well. 

According to the toddler’s father, his wife hurt her ankle trying to keep the girl from falling in on Monday night.

Neighbors said they saw the girl nearly fall into the hole while walking alongside her family from the grocery store.

“I hear a yell. The baby started wailing,” said a neighbor named Dianca. “She grabbed the 2-year-old, which made her fall in the hole, saving her child."

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department confirmed it took one adult to the hospital after “someone fell” and was “injured.”

The city came out to fix the hole after the I-TEAM started asking questions. 

“The City was not aware of the issue. We value the assistance of citizens in identifying issues; residents are encouraged to call 630-CITY to share information. Public Works Division team members investigated and determined that the hole was caused by a problem drainage pipe. It will be backfilled and secured today with final repairs to be scheduled later," a city spokesperson said.

Since then, the hole has been filled. 

“It’s very, very deep. And the thing about it is if it was even off, away from the sidewalk, it would be different,” Dianca said. "Glad they fixed it. Sorry someone had to get hurt."

The proposed City of Jacksonville 2020-2024 Capital Improvements Plan allocates more than $5 million to building new sidewalks and more than $15 million to sidewalk and curb to repair and building sidewalks throughout Jacksonville over the next five years. 

These are the proposed sidewalk improvements for 2020-2024: 

Tiger Hole Road sidewalk 
Sibbald Road sidewalk
Loretto Road sidewalk
Live Oak Drive sidewalk
Gilmore Heights Road sidewalk
Ramona Boulevard sidewalk 
Sycamore Street sidewalk (new)
Biscayne Boulevard sidewalk 
Fourth Avenue sidewalk
Clyde Drive sidewalk (new)
Lenox Avenue sidewalk
St. Johns Bluff Road sidewalk WS (new)
St. Johns Bluff Road sidewalk ES (new)

If you see issues with your sidewalk, but it’s not on the list of planned repairs, you can call 904-630-CITY (2489). But, according to the city, the City of Jacksonville’s online Customer Service system will be unavailable from 7 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. as it prepares to launch its new and improved system. If you have an urgent need, please submit a request using the MyJax app or send an email to 630CITY@coj.net. For public safety issues or emergencies, call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or 911.  

You can also send us a tip by emailing ITEAM@news4jax.com.


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