Section of Downtown Pottsville Road Collapses

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POTTSVILLE -- Orange roadblocks now detour traffic around a section of Mahantongo Street in downtown Pottsville.

Part of the busy street gave way while a garbage truck was stopped at a red light, creating a hole eight feet deep and several feet wide, according to city officials.

"It's something that's unforeseen. It's part of the infrastructure of the city. It's old and it's something that just happened," said Pottsville Superintendent of Streets Dan Kelly.

Kelly said a stone arch underneath the road gave way. The arch dates back to the early 1800's. People who live on that block of Mahantongo Street said they were surprised to see the damage.

"I didn't see any of it. I heard it, but I didn't realize that it was as bad as it is," said Dee Hoffman of Pottsville.

Crews are already working on a fix for the subsidence but they believe it could take up to a week causing some inconveniences for those who travel and live along the route.

Kerry Martin's mother lives in a senior living complex along Mahantango Street and said the subsidence is already causing problems.

"It's really hard to get in and out because of the road being blocked off. I don't know how the people in here are going to do it because there's vans and you can't get the van in here for the handicapped and it's really bad," said Martin.

The collapse is right in front of the law firm where Fred Fanelli works. He said he's not worried about any hassles.

"There's a parking garage close by. There's on the street parking close by, but the important thing is the sidewalks are open so people can get around without much in the way of interruption," said Fanelli.

Newswatch 16 was there as crews began to fix the more than $75,000 dollars worth of damage.

"We're doing the best we can. The job as fast and as safe as possible and with the least amount of inconvenience to people," said Kelly.

Officials said repairs are a top priority. They expect the work to take anywhere from three to five days.