sidewalk vault

sidewalk vault

A space below a sidewalk directly adjacent to a building, often covered with a hatch that can be lifted to allow access to the basement of the building via steps down; often used for storage.
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pieces of parapet wall drop to the street, sidewalk vault structures collapse, drain lines burst).
Falling beams of steel from the World Trade Center fires may have gouged a gaping multi-story hole into the front of Verizon's West Street facility, sliced into underground sidewalk vaults, and severed the cables for New York's communications systems, but the disconnect was only temporary, according to Verizon's group president for New York/Connecticut Paul Crotty, who spoke at the June BOMA/NY luncheon.
Go to the Vault: Sidewalk vaults are a prime place for deterioration, where aged steel support beams can rust and crack.