Downtown Street Closures Sunday Affect Traffic, Buses

A PECO employee emerges Friday (above) from a manhole at the northwest corner of East High and Charlotte streets. Portions of East High and Hanover streets were closed through Sunday while fire-related repairs were under way

POTTSTOWN PA – A portion of East High Street remained closed to traffic Sunday (March 21, 2021) as of 3:06 p.m., in both directions along its two-block length between Hanover and Charlotte streets, as work crews from PECO Energy sought to return electrical power to the downtown area hit early Friday morning (March 19) by an underground transformer explosion and fire, the borough’s website reported.

Southbound Hanover Street also was closed, it said, for the two-block stretch between King Street and Security Plaza.

“PECO continues working in the area and hopes to have the roadways open by Monday morning (March 22). Please check back for updates,” the borough notice stated.

Electrical power to a portion of downtown was cut Friday by the utility company so firefighters reportedly could flood tunnels beneath the streets to douse the transformer flames. Between 100 and 300 people were without power at some point during Friday, and some downtown residents were temporarily displaced.

Montgomery County dispatchers ordered fire departments and companies from within a wide radius to the borough Friday, to be prepared for any emergencies that might have arisen. Most were later dismissed.

PECO’s post-fire detours also affected public transit services.

Travel on Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) buses, which use Security Plaza as a primary terminal, was suspended Friday at 9 a.m. as a result of the explosion. PART hoped to resume service Saturday (March 20), it said, and like the borough urged readers to check back for updates. However, none had been issued by Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

Additionally, SEPTA’s Route 93 bus between Pottstown and its Norristown Transportation Center offered west- and eastbound detour stops for riders who needed to be picked up or dropped off downtown. SEPTA said the detours likely would expire Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Photo by The Post