Wallace Drive set to close

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Messenger photo | Mona Moore

Messenger photo | Mona Moore

Starting Tuesday, the City of Troy will be replacing a drainage pipe responsible for a sinkhole that is about the size of a small car.
In order to repair the sinkhole, which sits under the surface of George Wallace Drive, the City will close the section South George Wallace Drive between Ray Avenue and Second Avenue.
Union Springs’ McDonald Construction was awarded the $200,000 project. The road closure will start Tuesday, May 27, and last through June 8, barring any complications.
“The main culprit is the metal pipe that has been there for over 20 years,” said Vaughn Daniels, director of environmental services. “It’s got holes in the bottom of it that is sucking up dirt.”
Consulting engineer Buck Watkins documented sinkholes above a degrading metal culvert pipe between Second Avenue and Easy Streets Apartments. He said metal pipes do not do well with Troy’s acidic soil.
The sand carried through the pipes by the backwater damages the inside of the pipes and the acidic soil corrodes the exterior of the pipes. Backfill seeps from the corroding pipes into the surrounding area. The water causes the sinkholes.
The project will replace the damaged pipe with concrete ones. Daniels said the replacements should last much longer than the metal ones.
“It’ll be there for the rest of my life, I know,” he said.
Once the concrete replacements are in, Daniels said two lanes might reopen.
Daniels recommended people use Ray Avenue east to Franklin Drive and Second Avenue west to South Brundidge Street.
“Those are just the most direct routes to the university,” Daniels said.
The project was planned for next week because public schools will be on summer break and traffic will be lighter.
“The City is sorry for any inconvenience,” Daniels said. “But, it is just progress at work.”

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