During years of extreme-drought conditions, most wished for more water. Now that the water has come, some local residents are wishing for less as it has caused more than a couple of problems along some area roads.
Rain has caused two problems in one Jefferson subdivision, said Jeff Killip, Jefferson public works director.
In the first situation, a pipe that allows water to flow out of a small, privately owned pond in the Jefferson Shores subdivision was broken.
“The water in the pipe continued to back up, and any time it rained, water flowed over the road,” Killip said.
The problem was further compounded by the fact that something — city officials suspect beavers — was packing the broken pipe with mud and other debris.
“Because the pipe wasn’t draining properly, it created a hazard any time there was heavy rain,” Killip said. “And if there were icy conditions, there was the danger of (cars) sliding off the road.”
That situation was corrected last week when city crews replaced the broken pipe and added a “trash rack” to prevent the buildup of debris inside the pipe.
The second water-related problem in the subdivision requires a more in-depth solution. While investigating a clogged storm drain near the subdivision’s boat ramp, city crews discovered a hole.
“There is a (hole) under Shore Line Drive,” Killip said. “The culvert is located under the road. When it became clogged with debris, the water on the upstream side was squeezing anywhere it could, so it began running between the pipe and the dirt, which created the void.”
Repairing the void is crucial to prevent the road from collapsing. The problem is complicated by the fact that the void is located under the subdivision’s only entrance.
“We can’t close one side of the road, while we work on the opposite side because on one side of the road we have the lake and the other side is a very steep drop-off,” Killip said.
Officials are working on an agreement with an adjacent subdivision to provide an alternative entrance and exit.
Once an agreement is reached, Killip said it will be simple to construct a temporary road between the two subdivisions, which will allow city crews to close Shore Line Drive to correct the void.
Recent rains also led to the temporary closure of a portion Martin Luther King Jr. The closed area is a part of a dirt road that Jefferson officials are waiting to pave once they receive permission from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
After adding gravel to the road to make it safer to travel, city crews’ efforts were washed away several weeks ago with heavy rains, Killip said. The road will be re-opened once it is paved.
Hall County has had issues with rain-related road closures, too. In October, heavy rains washed out both lanes of a portion of Ledan Extension near its intersection with Cha Co Road. It took county crews weeks to repair a damaged culvert under the North Hall road and rebuild the traffic lanes before it was re-opened in November.
During that same time period, county officials also temporarily closed Bryant Quarter Road in East Hall, for fear that rising waters in a nearby creek would create a safety hazard.