George Wallace Drive reopened after three weeks

Published 8:59 pm Thursday, July 29, 2010

George Wallace Drive reopened Thursday after being closed for a little more than three weeks.

During the closure, both a sewer line expansion project and a resurfacing project were able to be completed.

The sewer project was the primary reason for the closure, and took about a week longer than originally anticipated.

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Mike Davis, water and sewer superintendent for the city of Troy, said the prolonged project was due in large part to sub-par conditions, as well as other pre-existing obstacles.

“We just had bad soil there, and some other dangerous conditions,” Davis said. “Plus, we had two 60-inch storm drains we had to go under, in addition to a 6-inch water line, an 8-inch water line and the existing sewer line. So, when you combine all that with terrible soil, we had to take our time and make sure we were bringing in enough dirt to keep George Wallace from being permanently damaged.”

A temporary surface was placed over the area where the construction was done. That surface will have to be replaced, but there is no definite timetable on that project.

“It will be at least a month and a half or two months before we put the permanent surface down,” Davis said. “Right now, we have what we call a permanent patch there that we’ll just cover with the new surface.”

The good news is that the replacement of the patch will not require another closure.

“That will only roughly be from Dendron Avenue to Easy Street,” Davis said. “We’ll be in there tearing out some old manholes that will no longer be in use, and we’ll be able to get that done without closing George Wallace again. We’ll just use two-lane traffic or something to that effect.”

Other portions of George Wallace Drive were also worked on during the closure as part of the city’s “emergency resurfacing” project.

“We’re accomplishing things on time and within our budget,” said Buck Watkins, engineer and licensed surveyor for the Pike County Economic Development Corp. “We’ve finished Gibbs Street and George Wallace Drive, and we’re putting the temporary paint and striping on those. The asphalt has to sit for two weeks before we can put the final paint down, so we’ll just have the permanent paint to put on there.”

Pell Avenue’s resurfacing was finished Thursday, and Corman Avenue is scheduled to be finished by the end of today.

Those two roads were closed as a result of the resurfacing, but with George Wallace Drive now open, Watkins said traffic should not be a concern.

“We had to close Corman and Pell, but with George Wallace and Gibbs open again, the traffic shouldn’t be an issue,” Watkins said.

The portions of the resurfacing project near to school zones have been completed, a priority at the start of the project.

However, the resurfacing projects will eventually encompass 26 roads, meaning traffic delays could occur.

“I would just advise people to look for alternate routes if they see dump trucks or machinery in the area,” Watkins said.