Construction of a new culvert on Cantrell Road in Flowery Branch could be finished by the end of September, City Manager Bill Andrew said last week.
Work is well underway on the crossing over Flowery Branch Creek that washed out overnight June 1 after heavy rains swept through the area.
The crossing, now blocked to traffic, is just south of Atlanta Highway/Ga. 13 and near Flowery Branch Cemetery off Cemetery Road.
Opening the road will help with local traffic, as Cantrell Road is a link between two key traffic arteries in town — Ga. 13 and Thurmon Tanner Parkway.
The new crossing is a 10-foot by 8-foot concrete box culvert. The project is projected to cost $454,313. The city has a total budget of $500,000 “in case there are any unforeseen circumstances,” Andrew said.
The good news is city officials had been planning to replace the Cantrell culvert using special purpose local option sales tax money and other funds.
Flowery Branch had pre-applied in February for a Georgia Emergency Management Agency grant to help pay for improvements, but applications won’t be accepted until fall, Andrew said in June.
However, the city still could pursue the grant to help pay for culvert work on East Main Street and Phil Niekro Boulevard, which also cross the creek. Phil Niekro is a particularly busy and vital road, as it connects downtown to Interstate 985 and also becomes Spout Springs Road.
The city has had long-standing stormwater woes, particularly with its culverts over Flowery Branch Creek.
A culvert on Spring Street, repaired after a 2009 collapse, fell again in a 2013 storm — just months after a hydrological study of the Flowery Branch Creek basin was done — and was later replaced with a bridge.