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Oakwood eyeing culvert fix at McEver Road

POSTED: April 24, 2013 1:07 a.m.

Oakwood is moving forward on a project to replace a failing culvert on heavily traveled McEver Road at Mud Creek, creating a noticeable dip for motorists along that stretch.

“It’s corroding along the water line down the pipe, so we know we have to do some initial or short-term repairs to it,” City Manager Stan Brown said. “But we will need to do something more permanent for that pipe.”

City Council voted earlier this month to contract with CHA Inc., a national engineering firm with offices in Atlanta, to do preliminary work on the culvert at a cost of $14,800.

In the first part of a three-phase project, CHA will conduct inspections and collect data related to the pipe.

“The primary goal ... will be to collect the data required to evaluate the structural condition and hydraulic performance of the (culvert),” states a city document on the project.

CHA “can then investigate and evaluate culvert repair and replacement strategies, leading to a recommendation for the most prudent and cost-effective alternative.”

Several short- and long-term options will be considered, from inserting a lining into the leaking pipe to installing a 96-inch reinforced concrete pipe.

Mud Creek runs under McEver Road in a section between Flowery Branch and Oakwood South Industrial Park, which is at H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway/Rafe Banks Drive.

“It’s kind of a swampy area down through there,” Brown said.

He estimated that repairs could be made this spring and summer.

Some asphalt patch work along McEver Road could take place even sooner, perhaps in the next couple of weeks.

“It’s starting to get a little dip there in the road, where (pavement) is settling around the failed pipe,” he said.

The method of permanent repairs will dictate future work schedules.

“It’s too early in the game to determine what the permanent fix will be,” Brown said.

The city had to replace a culvert at another location in the fall after heavy rains.

“A lot of us have had issues with the rains we’ve had,” Brown said.

“It’s been good to get the rain; it’s been to good to get (Lake Lanier) full, but anywhere you’ve got corrugated metal pipes going under roads that have been there a while (is a concern).”

“They have a life (span), so we’ve been checking them and making sure everything is clear and flowing.”

Neighboring Flowery Branch also has fretted over culverts on Flowery Branch Creek. Stormwater problems have plagued the city for years, highlighted by the December 2009 collapse of the Spring Street culvert, stranding residents in a 50-unit apartment complex.

McEver Road is a particularly busy north-south artery in West Hall. Just north of Oakwood South Industrial Park are West Hall middle and high schools.

Mud Creek flows into Lake Lanier near Stephens Road.


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