Martinez sinkhole under repair by Columbia Co.

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News 12 First at Five / Friday, June 21, 2013

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a noisy afternoon in the normally quiet Barrington subdivision.

"Now we're in the process in the process of removing the old pipe, the crews been out here digging for a day or two," said Matt Schlachter with Columbia County.

And a massive hole in the ground is the result.

Schlachter has been working to make the best out of a dirty situation.

"The commission has told me to fix the road. We see it as a public safety issue, we need to get this access opened back up," he said.

This week, Vanessa Waldron was charged with theft of public documents.

Now, the ownership of the storm-damaged road in the neighborhood is up in the air.

"The commission will handle the 'who's responsible' part of it, that will be something they're left to decide," Schlachter said.

But Columbia County says that all original property records are accounted for and the responsibility falls into their hands.

"We got our engineers doing everything they can to make sure this thing lasts a long time," he said.

News 12 spoke to dozens of neighbors who say regardless of whose responsibility it is, it needs to get fixed -- and that's exactly what Schlachter and his crew are doing.

"I would hope in two months we've got a road opened back up, a complete road, repaved, the curves back in, the grass is put back," he said.

It's a time frame not many people are happy with, but those living on the other side of the hole notice the effort.

"The residents have all been very appreciative of what we're doing, they see the quick response we put to this project, that we jumped out here and got on it really fast," Schlachter said.

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