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County forces will repair collapsed culvert on Tennille Road

After being denied federal funding, Pike County will be using its own resources to fix a collapse on Tennille Road.

“We have reevaluated the situation last week and, after more consideration, we’ve determined we’re going to repair that with county forces,” said County Engineer Russell Oliver. “That means we’re just using county personnel and equipment and purchasing materials and repairing it ourselves.”

County officials discovered the collapse of a culvert on the road, officially County Road 4430, when James Powell crashed due to the failure on October 18. The damage did not meet the state’s threshold to get federal help in the emergency repair, but the county commission authorized the road department to take emergency actions in finding a solution.

Oliver said the use of county personnel will delay some other work the county needs to do, but will expedite the repair to
the road so it can become operational again.

“This is, of course, an interruption to our routine maintenance, but by using county resources, we get it done faster not having to go through the contracting process,” Oliver said. “That’s the major factor, as well as cost savings.”

Oliver said the existing structure will be able to be repaired.

“We’re going to preserve the structure that’s there – it still is intact,” Oliver said. “We’re going to repair the foundation and
the road bed. We’re going to approach this repair like a permanent repair. As part of our repair, we’re taking measures to mitigate any erosion of the stream bed.”

The location is just one of 24 that the road department had put on a list to be checked. All 24 locations feature box culverts, which Oliver told the commission were found to be structurally inadequate and later stopped being used altogether. Many of
the box culverts are over 50 years old.

“We’ve been attempting to do some repairs and work around these structures for a number of years, but that maintenance has unfortunately been deferred due to a lack of resources,” Oliver said. “The good thing is, now that the commission has decided to contract out our mowing, it gives us the opportunity to have more time to make repairs. For almost the last two years we’ve been working on what would be categorized as relief work after the Christmas flood of 2015. That’s one reason some of this maintenance work was deferred.”