Greeneway erosion calls for million dollar repair

News 12 at 11/Thursday, May 22, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Just beyond the the orange "No Through Traffic" signs, a section of the greeneway is getting ready to be repaved.

This comes after finding two major sinkholes in the last year and a half that's threatening the safety of the trail.

"We had a situation here that was dangerous for people," North Augusta Parks and Recreation Director Rick Meyer said.

North Augusta Parks and Rec is begging the rain, rain to go away before it takes the Greeneway with it.

"Last Thursday, that 4 inches of rain compounded our problem here with the sinkage of the Greeneway," Meyer said.

That problem started in February of last year when a routine inspection uncovered a massive sinkhole just below the popular trail.

"This sinkhole was so large it took 30 truck loads of dirt to fill it in," Meyer recalled.

Filling it up was a temporary fix to a recurring problem. Last week, a second sinkhole popped up at the top of the trail

"So, we filled that hole in and as we did, the asphalt up top here started to sink," Meyer said.

On the surface it looks like an easy fix, but the root of the problem sits about 40 feet below. At 108 years old the culvert running below the Greeneway has done its job, but now it's starting to fail, and it's causing major problems.

"It was so bad during the week we had to close this section off because a bicyclist would have hit that sinkage in the Greeneway and possibly been bumped off this trail," Meyer explained.

The only hope for a permanent fix is to replace the pipe.

"Just fill it totally up and bore through down below and put a new pipe in, a larger drainage pipe," Meyer said.

Meyer says the plan is to install a 72 inch pipe, compared to the failing 48 inch pipe that sits there now. But, Meyer expects that will cost somewhere between $800,000 to $1.1 million, sinking part of the budget and the hopes for Greeneway expansion anytime soon.

"Everyone would be excited about expanding the Greeneway, but from my perspective, it's more important that we maintain and upgrade the Greeneway that we have," Meyer said.

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