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Newly fixed road crumbles in recent rains
Hall County Department of Public Works look over damage on Brown Street, where the pavement cracked due to heavy rains. The road will be closed until further notice. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Brown Street is closed until further notice after heavy rains damaged the road just north of its intersection with Eugene Drive, washing out an entire lane.

The newly established bank on Brown Street eroded, leaving no support for the road, which crumbled.

Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden said fresh renovations to Brown Street left it vulnerable to all the rain.

"This bank had not had time to stabilize with material on it, which is what we believe has happened at this point in time," Rearden said. "The grass hadn’t grown in and all that kind of stuff."

Hall County recently completed repaving and drainage construction on Brown Street as part of a broad effort to revitalize the neighborhood.

This summer, two storm water pipe crossings were repaired on Brown Street, dangerous shoulder conditions improved, guardrails installed near stream crossings and the steep slope restructured. The improvements cost about $84,000.

Assistant Public Works Director Kem Smith said he does not know when the road will reopen because it will be difficult to make the necessary repairs if the rain continues.

"We’re going to have to let it dry out before we can work on it," Smith said. "It’s a day-by-day time frame."

When the county repairs the road, they will reinforce the road with Rit Rap Rock to make it sturdier should it flood severely again.

"It’s disappointing, of course, that something this recent — the rainfall — has made it deteriorate. We’re going to look at methods to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future," Rearden said.

The forecast calls for more rain this week, so Smith anticipates an extended closing. The public will be notified when the road reopens.

The road is one of two entrances into the Morningside Heights area. Detour signs point to Floyd Road, and Smith said school buses still will be able to pick up residents on Brown Street.