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Tainted asphalt forces repaving on Lake Lanier Islands
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BUFORD — The president of one of the state’s largest highway contracting firms says his company will need to repave a stretch of Ga. 60 and internal roads at Lake Lanier Islands because of contaminated asphalt.

Bill Hammack, president of C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., said the problem occurred at the company’s Candler asphalt plant last September.

Small fragments of rubber are protruding through the top layer of asphalt. The rubber, used at intersections where underground loops are installed, was not removed from the asphalt mix.

The subject was discussed during the monthly meeting of the Lake Lanier Island’s Development Authority. The authority contracted with Gary’s Grading and Pipeline Co. of Monroe to rebuild the first phase of roads within the 1,100-acre resort in South Hall.

The company purchased the asphalt from Matthews Contracting, who at the same time was under contract to the Georgia Department of Transportation for a 9.1-mile portion of Ga. 60 from Jesse Jewell Parkway to Ga. 332 in Southeast Hall.

DOT spokeswoman Teri Pope said the agency became aware of the situation quickly, and that only a one-lane section covering 1.5 miles was affected. She could not identify the exact location.

Hammack visited the Lake Lanier Islands site on Friday and said the company would repave the affected areas.

“We’re going to make them happy,” he said.

While taking no official action, the authority directed Executive Director Bill Donohue and attorney Sam Oliver to see that the situation was remedied.

“We want them to mill up the two inches of material and replace it,” Donohue said.

Officials with LLI Management, the family-owned company of Virgil Williams, have said they wanted repairs completed before the resort enters its busy season in the spring.

Though Matthews Contracting did not perform the actual paving work at Lake Lanier Islands, Hammack said his company would handle the removal and repaving work.

The same is true for the portion of Ga. 60.

Pope said the repair work could not take place on the highway until temperatures rose above 50 degrees for a good portion of the day.