If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by a reader and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
Why hasn’t the city of Gainesville raised manholes on Thompson Bridge Road that are so deep they act like potholes?
Ever since the Georgia Department of Transportation completed a repaving project along Thompson Bridge Road this past winter, many motorists have noticed an extra, unexpected jolt on their morning, afternoon and evening commutes.
That’s because the resurfacing, which raised the road, caused sewer manholes to become deeply indented. But drivers could be forgiven if they thought they’d just run over the world’s largest pothole.
City officials have acknowledged receiving several complaints about the issue, and The Times has also received inquiries from several readers wondering what is going on and who is responsible.
“We have raised the sanitary sewer manholes on Thompson Bridge Road,” said Linda MacGregor, director of the department of water resources. “The other manholes belong to AT&T.”
MacGregor added that the city raised manholes on Green Street, EE Butler and Jesse Jewell, as well, following repaving of those roads.
But it comes as a surprise to many Gainesville residents that a phone company is responsible for the manholes that remain to be raised.
“(The city) returned my call, but (I) could not believe the answer,” one resident wrote in a recent email to The Times. “(They) advised AT&T has to fix the other holes around the manhole covers. AT&T is a phone company! I have lived in Gainesville 62 years and have seen some crazy stuff, but a phone company now fixes the streets?”
City Manager Bryan Lackey said he has been communicating with the GDOT and was made aware that one of AT&T’s manholes near the HoneyBaked Ham store on Thompson Bridge was being raised this week.
“We’ve fixed all our manholes,” Lackey reiterated.
Katie Strickland, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s northeast region, said her agency is working with AT&T “but when and how they do the work is on them.”
AT&T did not respond to an inquiry from The Times prior to deadline.
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