Hole on Gravois Ave. from downed streetlight has yet to be fixed

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ST. LOUIS – There are growing safety concerns about a deep hole with exposed electric wires next to a sidewalk right outside a south St. Louis business.

A car crash took out a streetlight at the location in the 2900 block of Gravois Avenue in November 2021. FOX 2 has learned the City of St. Louis has allowed the danger to continue.

For most of the time since then, the hole has been covered with a partially broken orange traffic barrel.

“The streetlight hole opens up into what appears to be a cavern or void of some kind underneath the street right here,” said Terry Prott, whose wood-stripping business is adjacent to the hole. “Somebody needs to fill that hole before somebody gets really hurt in a serious accident. You can only imagine how bad it could be if it goes in the wrong direction.”

Prott and his customers park on the curb near the hole. The barrel is unsecured. A wind gust knocked it from its base as Prott spoke with FOX 2’s Andy Banker on Monday.

A couple of times a week, Prott said he has to reset the traffic barrel upright.

Small sinkholes line much of the sidewalk on the block. Prott had already partly fallen into one of them.

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“I was by the curb here. The ground just gave away like a sinkhole and my leg went in up to my knee,” he said.

He was not seriously hurt but he is worried about what could happen to someone who fell into the streetlight hole.

“In the hole where the streetlight was, you’ve got some (electric) wiring, some serious wiring, some really thick heavy stuff,” he said.

A city employee came to examine the hole and take photos after FOX 2 made an inquiry. FOX 2 confirmed a replacement streetlight was installed five days after the accident but was later removed when it started leaning.

There’s no word yet on the City of St. Louis Street Department’s plans for a permanent solution.


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