It would have escaped our notice if we hadn’t snagged a toe on a raised edge at one end of the plates covering the well, propelling us into a semi-stumble. We were in no danger of falling, but it sure did get our attention.
The plates covering the well are supposed to be flush with the surrounding sidewalk, to ensure that pedestrians can walk across them without tripping.
But for some reason, these plates are warped so that they dip down in the middle, creating a raised edge at the point where they meet the air slats.
Hmmm. What could have bent the plates, constructed of sturdy metal, in such a way that they have taken on a concave shape?
Another tipoff was a big dumpster box next to the north wall of the condo; you could draw a straight line from the plates to it.
A Google Street View image from last June shows that the plates were also warped then, but not as badly as they are now. Clearly, their sunken shape has been a while in the making, and we’re quite likely not alone in tripping over them.
STATUS: Rick Helary, who’s in charge of road operations in that area, emailed to say large traffic barrels and caution tape will be put up around the utility well until the city can identify who’s responsible for the plates, and have them replaced.