HARRISBURG – The 14th Street Sinkhole Mitigation Project has reached completion, and the area has been transformed into a community green space.

What:       Press Conference and Dedication Ceremony To Announce

                  Sinkhole Mitigation Project Completion and Unveiling of

                  Community Green Space

Where:     Corner of South 14th St and Magnolia St, Harrisburg

When:      Thursday, November 14th at 10:00 a.m.

Who:        Mayor Eric Papenfuse, Mr. Steve Ward from FEMA, Mr. Tom Hughes from PEMA, Mr. Richard Vilello from PA DCED, Senator John DiSanto, Commissioner Mike Pries, and officials and representatives from other project partners


In March 2014, a sinkhole developed in the 1400 block of South 14th Street, affecting 53 homes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the project application for the City of Harrisburg’s sinkhole mitigation project and provided $1,650,000 in federal funds. This is FEMA’s first Sinkhole Mitigation Project, funded under the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program, in the United States.

The PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) provided the local match of $550,000 from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds for Phase 1 of the project. The City was also granted $1 million from Dauphin County’s Community Development Block Grant disaster relief funds to rehabilitate the sinkhole site and turn the area into a green space. DCED provided an additional 3 million dollars from HUD for Phase 2 of the project.

With the support of the above entities, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City was able to acquire and demolish the affected homes, help relocate the residents and tenants, and secure the sinkhole site.

The City of Harrisburg began building demolition on the South 14th Street Sinkhole Mitigation Project on April 2, 2019. The site was then excavated to a depth of 10 feet and backfilled. Demolition activities were followed by site grading, lawn and tree planting. The end result is open space surrounded by a pedestrian path, with deed restrictions prohibiting future development of the property. It has been zoned as green space without the possibility for future construction.

For more information, contact Momin Bhatti, Communications Manager, City of Harrisburg at [email protected], or at 717-255-6535.

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