News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Orange barrels have been a normal sight on Doug Barnard Parkway for years. One of the lanes has been closed off on the main road after the pavement began to sink into the ground.
After a long debate over who's responsible for fixing the road, Augusta's Utilities Department is taking the blame and taking action.
After finally figuring out the cause of the sinking was an abandoned sewer pipe, the Utilities Department is now paying for the repairs and, people are more than ready.
"It gets to be quite an eyesore after a while," said Gene Kirkland, who has owned the Brickyard Bait and Tackle on Doug Barnard Parkway for two years.
Kirkland drives by this twice a day and says it's been that way for years.
"It's just ridiculous, in my opinion, why it would've taken so long to get something done about it," Kirkland said.
Especially on a main road to and from the airport.
"It looks bad," he said. "That's the main road to the airport. We need to do better than that. We had The Masters in here at least twice with that road looking like that. What kind of image is that for our city?"
An abandoned sewer pipe caused the road to begin sinking.
"I know people have been inconvenienced for a long, long time so we're going to fix it, fix it right and get it opened back up," said Director of Augusta Utilities Tom Wiedmeier.
A few months back, they filled the pipe underneath the road with grout. Now, they can begin repairing the road.
"We took bids a while back and recently got cleared by the DOT to go ahead with the repairs, so my people are telling me it could be this week, but definitely by next week, we'll be out there repairing the pavement," Wiedmeier said.
The paving here should be done in just a few weeks, but the work is far from finished. The same pipe system is causing problems just down the street on Dan Bowles Road.
"It all stems from the same issue," Wiedmeier said. "So while the Doug Barnard situation has been resolved, as far as the pipe goes, we'll still have the pipes that are close to that that we'll still have to address."
They say an acid from the sewage running through the pipes was causing the concrete to deteriorate, so now they are replacing those pipes with a different material.
They expect the portion of Dan Bowles Road to be closed for around one week as they work to replace the pipe.