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The Million Dollar Hole on Progress Avenue

progress ave pottsville hole
(Photo: Coal Region Canary)

Pottsville finally got the money it says is needed to fix the gaping hole on Progress Avenue.

According to a report, the city was awarded FEMA funds to the tune of $1.066 million. That money goes to fixing the giant hole that opened on Progress Avenue during a massive August 2018 rainstorm.

Pottsville Gets FEMA Funds for Progress Avenue Hole

progress ave pottsville hole

(Photo: Coal Region Canary)

In that storm, a stone arch underground gave way to a raging creek underneath. Progress Avenue, right between the rear of the US Post Office and the Giant supermarket, collapsed, opening a big hole in the ground.

Since that storm in August 2018, there’s been chain-link fencing around the hole. Progress Avenue traffic has been detoured through the Giant parking lot while the hole remains open.

Pottsville City Administrator Tom Palamar told WNEP that the project to fix the hole should go out to bid in about a month.

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Maybe we should just be happy that someone in government is soliciting bids for a project, but online comments wonder how this particular project could cost $1 million.

As concerning as it may be that such a small project could cost so much, what should be more alarming is how long this took.

Blame FEMA?

FEMA became a popular scapegoat for delayed disaster response ever since people realized it existed in 2005. But Pottsville can’t really blame FEMA for any delays in getting this project completed.

Pottsville should have been in a position to fix the Progress Avenue hole on its own when it happened.

This isn’t FEMA’s problem to fix. It’s the result of Pottsville’s aging infrastructure and it could very easily happen again … especially on Progress Avenue.

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We’ve seen numerous instances in which Progress Avenue is prone to serious flooding during heavy rain. Will we be waiting around for 2 years or longer to get those potential problems fixed?

There’s lot of talk and belief that Pottsville is undergoing some kind of revitalization. When you see how incapable Pottsville is of responding to problems like this, you wonder how a true revitalization can be possible.


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  1. coalregion12

    February 23, 2020 at 9:31 am

    • Jalappa Jock

      February 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      i think ya start laying of tax payer county jobs until there’s enough money to fix it. That’s all’s too it. It’s not rocket science. Since I can remember only mayors in office were a Riley or Muldowney. Time for change? Not rocket science either.

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