Inquirer: It took a while, but Primrose's problem creek is fixed

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comMay 18, 2014 

Way back in February, we reported on a problem in a creek that runs parallel to Savannah Drive in Georgian Hills, near the intersection with Primrose Road.

The creek crosses beneath Primrose at an angle, then bends back to run more or less parallel with Savannah. Decades ago, someone, probably the old Muscogee County government, built a stone and mortar retaining wall to stop the water from eroding the bank at the back of what is Parkhill Cemetery property.

This apparently worked well enough for decades, but one day a large tree on the Parkhill side fell, tearing down a chain link fence, but also cracking the stone wall in half and pushing part of it out into the creek at an angle.

This appeared to be channeling the water, especially during heavy rains, into the bank behind the first house on Savannah, causing some pretty bad erosion. (The erosion is also bad on the Parkhill side, but residents there aren't complaining.)

As Devoted Readers will recall, Public Works Director Pat Biegler went out and looked it over, determined that the broken wall was probably a public work, so to speak, and was likely the cause of the homeowner's erosion problem. So the city would repair the problem.

Did it ever. For months, city crews and heavy equipment were on the site, cutting down trees and shoring up the banks with concrete and large rocks.

"The wall was probably constructed by the old county government," Biegler said. "We don't use that kind of stone, and haven't in 50 years or so. So we took the position, after much debate, that any erosion that resulted from it we would repair and we would take the wall out."

So all is well? Not completely.

"The property owner thinks we should do the whole lot, and we can't do that," Biegler said.

"We always take the position that if a structure is part of the city infrastructure and is causing a problem, we will take care of that," Biegler said. "We will take care of the erosion within a reasonable distance, take care of what could be caused (by the structure)."

Biegler said Georgia law states that natural erosion caused by creeks is the responsibility of the adjacent private property owners.

"Natural erosion is going to happen," Biegler said. "It's just a force of nature."

Biegler said because the project was wrapped up just last week, she didn't have a total price tag on it.

But it couldn't have been cheap.

-- Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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